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Full text of "Coleridge's The rime of the ancient mariner"

MADISON LIBRA Vy DISTRICT 
73 North Center 
Rexburg, Idaho 8344 



, *~M »-* | I IP" 



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821 COLERIDGE, Samuel Taylor 
COL 

THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER 



c 



MADISON DISTRICT LIBRARY 




3 3050 00021 



7204 












Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 
Brigham Young University-Idaho 



http://archive.org/details/coleridgesrimeofOcole 



MADISOf LIBRARY DISTRICT 

73 North Center 
Rexburg, Idaho 83440 



LONGMANS' ENGLISH CLASSICS 



EDITED BY 



GEORGE RICE CARPENTER, A.B. 

PROFESSOR OF RHETORIC AND ENGLISH COMPOSITION IN COLUMBIA COLLEGE 



SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE 



THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER 



LONGMANS' ENGLISH CLASSICS 

Edited by George Rice Carpenter, A.B., 

Professor of Rhetoric and English Composition in Columbia University. 



With Notes, Introductions, Bibliographies, Portraits, and other Explanatory 
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Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient 
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SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE 



Itongmons' (English Classics 
COLERIDGE'S 

THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT 

MARINER 



EDITED 

WITH NOTES AND AN INTRODUCTION 



BY 



HERBERT BATES, A.B. 

INSTRUCTOR IN ENGLISH IN THE UNIVERSITY OP NEBRASKA 

.ibRATf DISTRICT 
Re*bnrg. Idaho 834*u 




NEW FORK 
LONGMANS, GREEN, AND Ott 

j.«,\ DON AND BOMBA1 
L905. 



Copyright, 1895 

BY 

LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO. 



All rights reserved 



First Edition, January, 1896 
Reprinted, August, 1S9C. 
Nov., 1W, Feb., July, Sept., 
Feb., 1901, Jan., 1902, 
Oct. 1903, and August, 1905 



PREFACE 

I have treated this poem as introductory to poetry, 
aiming to help boys and girls to see the beauties of song- 
land. True, some seem elect, without aid ; others seem 
by nature debarred. There is, however, a great mean— 
the host of young people who may be taught to enjoy 
poetry. Editor and teacher must help them, not mere- 
ly by admiring, but by explaining admiration. Poetry 
reaches us, not by miracle, but by means most definite. 
The printed lines convey certain sounds pleasing in 
themselves. Yet to the untrained ear even this beauty 
must be demonstrated. Just so with the ideas, to us so 
suggestive. The student must be helped to -rasp the 
idea, to master the material for emotion. Bia imagina- 
tion must do the rest. 

I have tried to avoid both extremes— cold analysis and 
vague appreciation. Appreciation can hardly be intel- 
ligibly conveyed. Analysis, carried too far, becomes 
mechanical, deadening,- leading even to Bn< patron- 

age of art so easily measured. It Beema better, aiming 
at the mean, to explain the reason of our pleasure, and 
so lead others, first to see, then to feel, aa we do. 

Such guidance is the objeel of this 1 k. Alone it 

cannot accomplish this. Tin- teacher ia needed, the 
teacher who, feeling what poetry is, shall j will- 

ing patiently to slacken his parr, to explain, to en 
-perhapa along dull paths-other feet to the pleasant 
eminences of poetry. „ g 



CONTENTS 

Introduction 

Chronological Table 

The Rime of the Ancient .Mariner . 



TAQK 

. xxxvui 
1 



INTRODUCTION 



I. The Author 



"I have known," says Wordsworth, " many men who 
have done wonderful things, but the only wonderful man 
I ever saw was Coleridge/' Yet a recent critic speaks of 
this same man as a " poetical Skimpole," who died " after 
four decades of inglorious dependence upon rich nun's 
bounties." And, strange as it may seem, both are, in 
some measure, right. 

As a boy, Coleridge was unboylike, moping alone oyer 
story-books, or cutting down — a knight of his own imag- 
ined romances — ranks of unoffending thistles with bifl 
mimic sword. In part, this was due to his dreamy, im- 
aginative nature ; in part, to his delicate health, which 
kept him from ruder sports. But it was only for the first 
nine years of his life (1772-1781) that he was to enjoy 
the quiet of his country home. The death of his father, 
the pedantic, lovable, unworldly rector of Ottery St. 
Mary's, left him an orphan, and lm was taken away 
from his peaceful Devon to the great oharity-eohool, 
Christ's Hospital, in the busy heart of London. 

Here, according to Charles Lamb, the life of I DOJ 
without friends— and Coleridge had none near- 
from happy. There was little food, often bad food, and 
sometimes savage injustice in the guiseof disoiplin< 5 el 
the strict government may have b ood for Coleridge's 
wayward temperament ; and literature, however unkindly 
the guides, was an open land. One, mm. dilheart- 



X INTRODUCTION 

ened, he sought escape in apprenticeship to a shoemaker, 
but was forced back into the reluctant pursuit of learn- 
ing. Yet, even under schoolmaster Bowyer's frown, his 
dream-life went on. One incident is amusing. He was 
walking the crowded Strand, — swimming, in mind and 
arms, an imaginary sea. His outstretched hand brushed 
a stranger's pocket. He was promptly grasped. " What, 
so young and so wicked ! " " But I'm not a pickpocket, 
sir ; I thought I was Leander swimming the Hellespont." 
And the stranger, admiring, obtained for him entrance to 
a circulating library. Years later, De Quincey speaks of 
the mature Coleridge's " difficulty in regaining his posi- 
tion among daylight realities." The man was no less a 
dreamer than the boy. 

Dreamer or no, Coleridge rose to be Captain, or head 
boy. On leaving, he entered Jesus College, Cambridge. 
Here he remained two years. Bat he took no degree. 
Debts ; failure to win a scholarship ; radical views in 
religion, which displeased the authorities ; and, De 
Quincey says, "a heavy disappointment in love," drove 
him friendless into the London streets. In discourage- 
ment, he joined a regiment of dragoons, under the 
name of " Comberback," appropriate to his horseman- 
ship. But a pencilled lament in Latin betrayed him ; 
and his friends extricated him and sent him back to 
Cambridge. 

A few months, however, found him once more adrift, 
this time with a new friend, Robert Southey, a poet of 
smaller genius but of bulkier accomplishment, another 
young dreamer of freedom, strayed from the University 
fold. These two, with a few kindred spirits, planned the 
Pantisocracy, an ideal community, a little like the later 
" Brook Farm," to be founded in some terrestrial paradise 
beside the Susquehanna, where there would be but two 
hours of work each day, and poetry, philosophy, and 



INTRODUCTION x [ 

golden dreams illimitable. But golden dreams require, 
alas, a golden foundation. The poet-emigrants got no far- 
ther than Bristol, Southey's home. There their plans 
stopped, temporarily from lack of funds, ultimately from 
the intrusion of other interests. The two poets fell in 
love with two sisters. Southey married Edith Fricker, 
Coleridge married Sara, and the prospects of the Panti- 
socracy languished. 

Coleridge was never practical. Of all the steps of his 
life, however, including the enlisting, his marriage was 
the maddest. His total income, except for a condi- 
tional offer of a few pounds from a publisher, was approx- 
imately nothing. But he had " no solicitude on the 
subject." He hoped, indeed, to raise enough produce on 
his little patch of ground to support himself and his 
"pensive Sara." Of course his unsubstantial plans failed 
to produce substantial results. He tried one device after 
another — lectured, established a newspaper, published his 
"Juvenile Poems," wrote for the Morning Chronicle, 
took private pupils, and preached in local Unitarian 
churches — yet, had it not been for the kindly help 
Southey and of the publisher Cottle, he could hardly have 
contrived to pay the expenses of life. 

Remember, however, that this inadequacy was no! en- 
tirely his fault. His health was poor — it had been from 
the first. His best- work had to be done spontaneous 
the knowledge that he must do well seemed fco embari 
him. Besides, his home life was unhappy. His wife did 
not understand him, nor could he sympathize with ber< 
Severe attacks of facia] neuralgia, too, were driving him 
to the use of laudanum, the drug that m 
his life, in the words of Foster, "to shatt< r tl 
extraordinary faculties I have ever yi "t in a 

form of flesh and blood." 

Yet, little as he had accomplished, il is at tfa 



x ii INTRODUCTION 

that Hazlitt writes of him, ' ' You wished him to talk for- 
ever. His genius had angelic wings/'' All who met him 
felt that this young man was remarkable. 

Yet what, in 1796 — just one year before the writing of 
the " Ancient Mariner " — had this remarkable young man 
actually accomplished ? His early poems are of no great 
merit. Mr. Swinburne doubts whether the " Keligious 
Musings" or the " Lines to a Young Ass " " be the more 
damnable," but notes " Time, Real and Imaginary " as 
the " sweetest among the verses of boys who were to grow 
up great." The promise, such as it is, is indefinite ; the 
bud hints little of the fruit. The verse is conventional, 
of but formal excellence. The poet had not yet awakened 
to his real self. Nor was Southey the man to awake him. 
The man who could rouse him, who did rouse him, was 
yet to come into his life. 

This new influence was William Wordsworth, then poet 
merely in prospect, his verses penned but unprinted, 
pondering his theories, and preaching his doctrines to a 
little admiring circle. It was in 1797 that Coleridge met 
him. Their removal to Nether-Stowey brought the two 
poets together and led to one of the most famous and most 
fruitful of poetic intimacies, a friendship that affected 
the whole history of English literature. 

Let us see Coleridge with the eyes of Dorothy Words- 
worth. " At first," she writes, " I thought him very 
plain, that is for about three minutes. He is pale, has a 
wide mouth, thick lips, and not very good teeth, longish, 
loose-growing, half-curling, rough black hair. But if 
you hear him speak for five minutes, you think no more 
of these." Hazlitt, another of the group, says, " His 
forehead is broad and high, light, as if built of ivory, 
with large projecting eyebrows ; and his eyes rolled be- 
neath them like a sea with darkened lustre. He removed 
all doubts by beginning to talk. He did not cease while 



INTRODUCTION x jii 

he stayed, nor has he since, that I know of." De Quincey 
says of his e)es, " And it was from the peculiar appear- 
ance of haziness or dreaminess, which mixed with their 
light, that I recognized my object." 

He immediately captivated Wordsworth ; in fact the 
captivation was mutual. And mutual admiration is not 
a bad thing for genius of a disheartened turn. The two 
became at once inseparable, each bringing out the other's 
best, pacing the windy downs, with no companion but 
the admiring Dorothy. True, their choice of walks dif- 
fered. Coleridge liked " uneven ground," loved to 
"break through straggling branches of copsewood;" 
Wordsworth preferred "a straight gravel walk," with no 
"collateral interruptions," — tastes, by the way, oddly 
suggestive of the differences of their poetry. The 
country was ideal, " with woods, smooth down, valleys 
with brooks running down through green meadows to 
the sea." " Whether," says Professor Shairp, " it was 
the freedom from the material ills of life, or the secluded 
beauty of the Quantock, or the converse with Words- 
worth, or all combined, there cannot be any doubt that 
this was, as it lias been called, his annus mi nihil is, his 
poetic prime. It was the year of 'Genevieve/ 'The 
Dark Ladie/ ' Kubla Khan/ the ' Ode to France, 4 the 
'Lines to Wordsworth/ the ' Ancient Mariner/ and the 
1 First Part of Christabel/ not to mention many other 
poems of less mark. It was to Wordsworth the hopeful 
dawning of a new day which completely fulfilled itself; 
to Coleridge, the brief blink of a poetic morning which 
had no noon." 

" Here," Bays Mrs. Oliphant, " the two | une to 

the edge of their first joint publication, a book which, 
amid all its manifold imperfections, its presumption! and 
assumptions, was yet to give the world assure] two 

lights of the greatest magnitude in its linnament." This 



xiv INTRODUCTION 

publication was the " Lyrical Ballads." At the time, 
little but the imperfections received notice, though — in 
comparison with Wordsworth, the prime offender — Cole- 
ridge escaped with light criticism. Coleridge had con- 
tributed little, — the ''Rime of the Ancient Mariner," 
and a few other poems. The rest of the volume illus- 
trated Wordsworth's theories of poetry, which, stated 
briefly, were that the simple emotions of daily life and the 
simple details of daily life are not out of place in poetry. 
These simple emotions, Wordsworth further held, should 
be expressed in the simple language of daily life, in the 
language of peasants, not in any artificial " poetic dic- 
tion." There is obviously much truth in this. Words- 
worth, however, stated his case in the most aggressive 
way. In a few poems, too, he carried his practice too 
far, writing of " idiot boys" and " household tubs," giv- 
ing, undeniably, good opportunity for ridicule. And the 
critics, taking advantage of this, ignored all the real 
beauty of the poems. Coleridge, it seems, understood 
Wordsworth's theory even better than did Wordsworth 
himself, and did much, afterwards, to explain what his 
friend really aimed at. But, be the theory as it might, 
the new manner was to prevail, and the publication of 
the "Ballads" marked, in the history of English poetry, 
a revolution heralded by Burns, Cowper, and Bhike, but 
now first understandingly set afoot by these young cham- 
pions of simplicity. 

The '' Rime of the Ancient Mariner," save in its irreg- 
ular metre, its moral of love for the humblest of creatures, 
and its very simple diction, bears little trace of this new 
manner of poetry. It seems, indeed, to have been re- 
garded as rather a flat failure, or, as Southey termed it, 
"a very Dutch attempt at the sublime." Even Words- 
worth failed to find in it any great merit. It is interest- 
ing to read his note in a subsequent edition. He says 



INTRODUCTION xv 

that the reader owes to him the republication of the 
poem : — 

"The Author was himself very desirous that it should be sup- 
pressed. This has arisen from a consciousness of the defects of the 
Poem, and from a knowledge that many Persons had been much 
displeased with it. The Poem of my Friend has, indeed, many great 
defects; first, that the principal person has no distinct character, 
either in his profession of Mariner, or as a human being who having 
been long under the control of supernatural impressions, might be 
supposed himself to partake of something supernatural ; secondly, 
that he does not act, but is constantly acted upon ; thirdly, that the 
events having no necessary connection, do not produce each other ; 
and lastly, that the imagery is somewhat ton laboriously accumulated. 
Yet the Poem contains many delicate touches of passion, and indeed, 
the passion is everywhere true to Nature : a great many of I he stanzas 
present beautiful images, and are expressed with unusual felicity of 
language ; and the versification, tho' the metre is in itself unfit 
long poems, is harmonious and artfully varied, exhibiting the utmost 
power of that metre, and every variety of which it is capable. It 
therefore appeared to me that these several merits (the Qrst of which, 
namely, that of the passion, is of the highest kind) gave to the Poem 
a value which is not often possessed by better Poems. On thi 
count, I requested of my Friend to permit me to republish it." 

It was not, in fact, for years, that tin-' Ancient Marin 
took its present deserved position as one <»f the immortal 
poems of the language. Coleridge had written ahead «>f 
his time. He had to wail for appreciation. 

His life, after this, wo mav pass over rapidly. In many 
ways the story is cheerless. It was fche philosopher who 
lived on. The poet, the best of him, seems to bave pa 
away with the passing of that year at Qnantock. 

For a year or so Coleridge travelled in Germany with 
the Wordsworths, studying a little, and translating Schil- 
ler's "Death of Wallenstein." In L799 be retired with 
Wordsworth int.. the Lake region ot northern England 
a region that gave to this -roup, Southey, Coleridge, and 



xvi INTRODUCTION 

Wordsworth, the name of the " Lake School." There 
Wordsworth remained. Not so Coleridge. Separated en- 
tirely from his family, who were supported by the less 
gifted but more dutiful Southey, he roamed at large. 
He made short flights to Loudon, once even to Malta, 
returning always to the old shelter, to the old com- 
panions, who, however, shattered as he was in health and 
will, could no longer stimulate him to poetic effort. 

In 1814, determined to overcome the opium-habit, he 
placed himself under the care of Mr. Gilman of High- 
gate, near London. With this help, to some degree, he 
succeeded, but it was too late to recall the best of his 
powers. He still wrote brilliant fragments of verse, but 
his work as poet was virtually closed. His new work, 
different as it was, was no less wonderful. " A Doctor 
Johnson of the nineteenth century," he still talked mar- 
vellously to groups of admiring friends, to young poets, 
young critics, young philosophers, who came from far and 
near to hear him, most with reverence ; a few, like Car- 
lyle, in the gruff contempt of youth. It was in these 
later years that he accomplished the bulk of his prose 
work — work that established his reputation as philosopher 
and as critic. And so he lived, till, at last, after fifteen 
years, the end came, the visit of " gentle Sleep, with 
wings of healing." 

Coleridge had, he owned, a " smack of Hamlet " in him. 
He realized, it was his burden to realize, his own inade- 
quacy. It was, in part, this that drove him into philo- 
sophic speculation. 

" There was a time when, though my path was rough, 

This joy within me dallied with distress, 
And all misfortunes were but as the stuff 

Whence Fancy made me dreams of happiness. 
For hope grew round me like the twining vine, 
And fruit and foliage not my own seemed mine. 



INTRODUCTION XY ii 

But now afflictions bow me to the earth, 

Nor care I that they rob me of my mirth, 
But oh ! each visitation 

Suspends what Nature gave me at my birth, 
My shaping power of imagination. 

For not to think of what I needs must feel, 
But to be still and patient, all I can ; 

And haply by abstruse research to seal 

From my own nature all the natural man ; — 
This was my sole resource, my only plan : 

Till that which suits a part infects the whole, 

And now is almost grown the habit of my soul." 

He lacked self-help, — needed, as Mrs. Oliphant said, 
" to weave himself in with some more steady, more deep- 
rooted being." As to his philosophy, critics disagree. 
Some say that its golden haze hinted more than it really 
hid. Almost certainly the philosophy ultimately spoiled 
the poet. And yet his fame as philosopher dwindles year 
by year. It is as poet that he will live. " The highest 
lyric work," says Mr. Swinburne, " is either passionate or 
imaginative ; of passionate, Coleridge has nothing ; but 
for height and perfection of imaginative quality, he is 
the greatest of lyric poets. This was his special power, 
and this is his special praise." 

II. The Origin of the Poem. 

Of this Wordsworth gives the following account : 

"In the autumn of 1797, he (Coleridge), my Bister, and myself, 
started from Alfoxden pretty late in the afternoon, with s riewto 
visit Linton and the Valley of Stones near to it ; and ai our unite, 1 
funds were small, we agreed to defray the expense of tin- tour by writ- 
ing a poem to be sent to the New Monthly Magazine, Accordingly 
we set otT, and proceeded along the Quantook hills, towards Wat 

and in the course of this walk was planned the j m of the 'Ancient 

Mariner,' founded on a dream, 4 as Mr. Coleridge said, of his Mend 

* A dream of "a skeleton ihip with IgUNI in it." 



xviii INTRODUCTION 

Mr. Cruikshank. Much the greatest part of the story was Mr. Cole- 
ridge's invention ; but certain parts I suggested ; for example, some 
crime was to be committed which should bring upon the 'Old Navi- 
gator,' as Coleridge afterward delighted to call him, the spectral 
persecution, as a consequence of the crime and of his own wander- 
ings. I had been reading in Shelvocke's ' Voyages ' a day or two before 
that while doubling Cape Horn, they frequently saw Albatrosses 
in that latitude, the largest sort of sea-fowl, some extending their 
wings twelve or thirteen feet. ' Suppose,' said I, ' you represent him 
as having killed one of these birds on entering the South Sea, and 
that the tutelary spirits of these regions take upon them to avenge 
the crime.' The incident was thought fit for the purpose, and 
adopted accordingly. I also suggested the navigation of the ship by 
the dead men, but do not recollect that I had anything more to do 
with the scheme of the poem. The gloss with which it was subse- 
quently accompanied was not thought of by either of us at the time, 
at least not a hint of it was given to me, and I have no doubt it was 
a gratuitous afterthought. We began the composition together, on 
that to me memorable evening. I furnished two or three lines at the 
beginning of the poem, in particular, 

'And listened like a three years' child: 
The Mariner had his will.' 

These trifling contributions, all but one, which Mr. C. has with 
unnecessary scrupulosity recorded, slipped out of his mind, as well 
they might. As we endeavored to proceed conjointly (I speak of 
the same evening) our respective manners proved so widely different 
that it would have been quite presumptuous for me to do anything 
but separate from an undertaking upon which I could only have 
been a clog. . . . We returned by Duburton to Alfoxden. The 
* Ancient Mariner,' grew and grew till it became too important for 
our first object, which was limited to our expectation of five pounds ; 
and we began to think of a volume, which was to consist, as Mr. 
Coleridge has told the world, of poems chiefly on supernatural sub- 
jects, taken from common life, but looked at, as much as might be, 
through an imaginative medium." — "Memoirs of William Words- 
worth," by Christopher Wordsworth. 

The passage from Shelvocke is as follows : 

"They saw no fish, nor one sea-bird, except a disconsolate black 
Albitross, who accompanied us for several days, hovering about us as 



INTRODUCTION xix 

if he had lost himself, till Hatley (ray second captain), observing in 
one of his melancholy fits that this bird was always hovering near us, 
imagined from his color that it might be some ill-omen. That which, 
I supposed, induced him the more to encourage his superstition 
was the continued series of contrary tempestuous winds, which had 
oppressed us ever since we had got into this sea. But, be that as it 
would, he after some fruitless attempts at length shot the albit c 
not doubting (perhaps) that we should have a fair wind after it." — 
Shelvocke, " Voyage round the World," 1726. 

Coleridge says, with regard to the origin of the poem : 

" The incidents and agents were to be, in part at least, supernal oral, 
and the excellence aimed at was to consist in the interesting of the 
affections by the dramatic truth of such emotions as would naturally 
accompany such situations, supposing them real. And real in this 
sense they have been to every human being who, from what 
source of delusion, has at any time believed himself under super- 
natural agency. ... In this idea originated the plan of the 
' Lyrical Ballads,' in which it was agreed that my endeavors Bhouldbe 
directed to persons and characters supernatural or at leasi romantic, 
yet so as to transfer from our inward nature a human interest and I 
semblance of truth sufficient to secure for these shadows of imagina- 
tion that willing suspension of disbelief for the moment which con- 
stitutes poetic faith." — " Biographia Litoraria." 

These accounts are valuable as showing from how many 
sources the creative mind may absorb its material. Bui 
the poem, composed of all these stray elements, is no 
more a collection of them than a fire is a mere colle< 
of the various twigs, Btraw, and papers thai feed it. Ever3 
one of ns, in every day, stores tip a little savin ^hts, 

sounds, and thoughts. A creative mind will, at Borne 
day, transform nil these into Borne new whole, 
from, but unlike, any of its various B0Ur068. Imagina- 
tion is but, a transubstantiation of fart, a tranamutin 
the commonplace Ami genius is but a rare endowment 
of this transmuting imagination. 



xx ii INTRODUCTION 

first stanza the first four groups are iambic ; the fifth, ana- 
pestic ; the sixth and seventh, iambic ; the eighth, ana- 
pestic ; the ninth and tenth, iambic ; the eleventh, anapes- 
tic. Examine other stanzas in the same way. 

If you have studied music at all, you will see that verse 
is much like music. In music, the groups are called 
measures ; in verse, they are called feet. In music, the 
accent is always at the beginning of the measure. So it 
is in some kinds of verse ; in this kind, however, it is 
always at the end. A measure in music may have many 
notes. A measure in verse very seldom indeed has over 
three. In music, you find length, pitch, and even accent 
indicated. In verse, your only guide is the natural pro- 
nunciation of the words, which shows you where to put 
the emphasis. But there is one marked resemblance. In 
music, in two measures of the same length, one measure 
will have two notes, say a half note and a quarter note ; 
another will have three notes, say three quarter notes. 
And these two measures are equivalent in time. Just 
so, in verse, an anapest, of three syllables, takes no more 
time than an iambic foot, of two. The syllables are pro- 
nounced more quickly, made shorter — that is all. And 
this usually gives the line an effect of speed and light- 
ness. 

Observe, for instance, stanza lviii. There one line is 
made up entirely of anapests, — " And the sky and the sea, 
and the sea and the sky." This is not "irregular." Cole- 
ridge chose this form deliberately. If he had wished, 
he could have written " And sky and sea, and sea and 
sky." But he preferred the swifter effect, and so used 
anapests. 

Let us now, having established our rule, look at the 
exceptions. Take, first, those in the form of the feet. 
The second line of stanza vi. runs, " Merrily did we 
drop." Surely we cannot say " Memly." The right 



INTRODUCTION xxiii 

reading is the natural reading, " Merrily did we drop," 
or, putting it in symbols, ^w^^-w^. "What has hap- 
pened ? The first foot has simply been inverted. The 
heavy syllable comes, not at the end, but at the beginning. 
Instead of being iambic, the first foot has become, in 
terms of verse, trochaic. The line has the usual number 
of groups and of syllables in the groups, but the arrange- 
ment is varied ; the accent has been drawn ahead, as in 
syncopation in music. This gives a pleasant variety to 
the sound. Other lines of the same kind are " Hither to 
work us weal," " Red as a rose is she," "Nodding 
their heads before her goes." Try to find others. 

The poem, we have seen, is divided into lines, and 

these lines are combined in groups, called stanzas. These 

groups consist, usually, of four lines. In each, the first 

and third lines are of four feet, the second and fourth of 

three. That is, each stanza can be divided into two parts, 

into halves, each of these having one line of four feet and 

one of three. And the last syllable of the firs! half 

rhymes with the last syllable of the second. In the firsl 

stanza, for example, " three "at the end of line two 

rhymes with "me" at the end of line four. All this 

results in a certain balance between the two parte, 

tain symmetry. Those who have studied music will see it 

is a little like the phrasing that one funis then'. Read the 

first few stanzas aloud and note the symmetry of 

Look at the printed page and see how it is represented m 

the form. The two parts of the stanza match, both to 

and to eye. 

This stanza is imitated from old ballads. Compare, fol 

instance, the following : 

"It fell aboul tin' Martinmai 

Whan nichta are lang and mirk. 
That the carline wife's three aona came ham* 

And their hate were -•' the birk. 



xxiv INTRODUCTION 

" It neither grew in syke nor ditch, 
Nor yet in ony sheugh, 
But at the gates o' Paradise 
That birk grew fair eneugh." 

• • • • • © 

" The cock doth craw, the day doth daw, 
The channerin' worm doth chide. 
Gin we be mist out o' our place, 
A sair pain we n aun bide." 

You will find this stanza, too, in many hymns, — in, for 
example, " There is a green hill far away." It is of all 
stanzas, probably, the most common. 

What variations does Coleridge introduce into the form 
of this stanza ? We see at first sight that there are some, 
for the stanzas are many of them of more than four lines. 
Where are the extra lines inserted ? What is the effect of 
their presence on the rhyme-system ? Let us take up the 
variations one by one. 

The first consist in adding, after the third line, an 
extra line, rhyming with the line that it follows, suspend- 
ing, so to speak, the flow of the stanza. Such in stanza 
lxxix. is the line, " Which to their corses came again." 
If this line be omitted, the stanza will be like any four- 
line stanza. Of the same kind are stanzas xxxix., xliv., 
xlv., lxii., lxiii., lxiv., lxxii., lxxiv., lxxxii., lxxxix., 
cxxii., cxxxviii. In stanza xii., the extra line follows 
the first line, instead of following the third. 

Another variation is in adding two lines, following out 
the regular structure. Line five, like lines one and three, 
is unrhymed. Line six rhymes with lines two and four. 
Of this type are stanzas * xxiii., * xxiv., * xli., lx., * lxv., 
lxxxiv., lxxxvi., *lxxxvii., cii., cxvii., cxxi., cxxvi., 
cxxix., cxxxv. Stanzas marked * repeat, in line six, the 
rhyme- word of line four. 

Stanza xlviii. contains all these variations. It ap- 



INTRODUCTION 



XXV 



proaches very closely, and may have suggested, the stanza 
that Scott uses in " Marmion." 

Observe, in addition to what is noted above, alliteration, 
the repeating of the same sound — not necessarily of the 
same letter — at the beginning of words that stand near 
together, as in, " The freeze to #low," the " western wave," 
etc. Watch for instances of this. Observe its effect. 

You will find, too, what is known as " medial rhyme," 
where the middle of the line rhymes with the end of the 
same line, as in " The guests are met, the feast is set," 
or, "And he shone bright, and on the right." Usually 
this occurs in the third line of the four-line stanza, or in 
the corresponding line of the longer stanzas. 

Remember that all this deals only with the form. 
Verse may be perfect in form, and yet have not a spark 
of poetry. We have found what makes verse. Let us 
see what more is needed to make a poem. 



IV. What is Poetry ? 

The " Ancient Mariner w is a poem. What do we mean 
by that ? Simply that it is written in the form known m 
verse? By no means. There must be something more. 
Not only must poetry have verse ; verse should, to make 
a poem, have added to it— poetry. And what ii this 
poetry ? Certainly it is not poetry to say, — 

" I put my hat upon my head, 
And went into tho Strand, 
And there I met another man, 
Whose hat was in hi^ hand," 

This has the form of poetry; but whnt is ranting P ! 
the words too simple ? Look at another stanza, this time 
from the " Ancient Mariner " : 



xxvi INTRODUCTION 

" We drifted o'er the harbour-bar, 

And I with sobs did pray — 
' let me be awake, my Grod ! 
Or let me sleep alway.' " 

Here the words are no less simple, and the sound is very 
much the same. What is the difference ? What is in 
one that is not in the other ? Nothing in the first would 
move anybody's feelings. Few, in reading the second, 
can fail to feel emotion. The first states facts that neither 
we nor the writer care anything about. The second ex- 
presses an emotion that appeals at once to all. Here is 
one difference — intensity of feeling. 

But all intensity of feeling would not make poetry. 
Suppose you miss a train, are insulted by a street-car con- 
ductor, are exultant over a shrewd bargain in business. 
Would feeling of this sort fit poetry ? Apparently, then, 
we must limit the kind of feeling. It must have dignity, 
a certain elevation, a certain beauty, and must be seen, 
not too crudely, but through softening, enhancing mists 
of imagination. Emotion, then, dignified, beautiful, 
idealized, — not immediate, but recollected in tranquil- 
lity — is one thing needed. And this is about as far as 
we can go. Poetry, some say, is heightened expression. 
It demands heightened thoughts, intensified feeling. To 
write a poem, one must attempt to utter the unutterable ; 
the greater the poem, the more approximate the success. 
But it can never, of itself, quite accomplish its aim. It 
can but take the reader near to the poet's original inspiring 
vision — within sight, perhaps within touch. It is for the 
reader to complete the work ; take, with his own imagina- 
tion, the last step ; bridge the abyss and stand where the 
poet stands, where he invites. 

And this imagination, this ability to respond to the 
summons of poetry, you must find by patience, by con- 
stant fellowship with the best of the world's poets, by 



INTROD UCTION t x v j j 

open sympathy, by steady striving to cultivate, in your- 
self, the poet-sense of the wonder, the unexplored ini 
tude, of the things about us and over us. 

How shall you best appreciate this particular poem ? 
That is the next point to consider. 

V. Method of Study. 

At the outset, let us see what not to do. Do not study 
the poem as apiece of English to be • d." Do not, if 

you are a teacher, make your pupils rewrite it into pr< 
It is not meant to be written iti prose. Poetical ideas are 
meant for poetry ; in prose they are <>ut of place — ;is awk- 
ward as the poor Albatross must have been if In- tried 
to walk the ship's deck. Do not make of the poem a 
combined edition of grammar, spelling-book, diction 
rhetoric, and encyclopedia. It isapoem,anda mi it 

should be studied. 

Avoid merely mechanical methods of Btudy. Point 
out, for examples, words that are suggestive, picturesque, 
poetic, — words that suggesl awholeclau ription. 

Do not, however, think that the poetry lies in these par- 
ticular words. They are suggestive here* In anol 
place they would he, very likely, as prosaic a- any <>ti 
Too elaborate analysis of the essence of | will fail <>f 

its end. You will merely kill t ' 
golden egg for your pains. Macau! 'a' in 

in-- " The man who is besl able t«» take a machii 

pieces will be the man most competent to form I 

machine <>f similar power. In the branches of p 
and moral science whieh admit of perfect analj 

can resolve will he abb- t«» combine. Bui 

which criticism can make of poetrj 

feet. One elemenl musl forever find.- i! :""l 

that is the vrv element by which pa 



xxviii INTRODUCTION 

How, then, shall we approach the poem ? What plan 
will lead, most helpfully, to sympathetic appreciation ? 

First, gather from the pages that have gone before, the 
individuality of the man who wrote the poem. Next, get, 
incidentally, an idea of why he told the story. After that 
read the whole poem through, rapidly, at one sitting. Then 
you will be ready to study it. 

" Study " has, perhaps, an unfortunate suggestion. It 
recalls struggles with Latin and Greek poems. Say, 
then, rather, that you are to endeavor to extract from 
the poem, not merely what you catch up in casual and 
careless reading, but what you can garner by diligent, 
appreciative search, stanza by stanza, line by line. In 
writing it, the poet pondered every detail. In reading 
it, ponder, in your turn, each slightest sign, that it may 
render up to you the significance that he entrusted to it. 

You may hurry through a gallery of paintings, getting 
but a blurred glimpse of the whole array. Or you may 
work your way through, step by step, studying each can- 
vas till you are sure you can make it mean to you what 
it meant to the man that made it. In this poem, each 
stanza is a picture. Slow study, sympathetic repetition, 
will bring out beauties that the hasty reader gets no 
hint of. What is more, whenever, afterward, you read 
the poem rapidly — just as when you pass through the 
gallery rapidly — you will get, in your passing glance, 
not merely the blurred glimpse, but you will recall, on 
the hint of that, all the beauty that you may have found 
in your hour of study. The riches, once extracted, will 
never relapse. 

How is such study to be directed ? Not, as I have said, 
to derivations and such philological facts. These are use- 
ful, but this is not the place for them. Here they are 
useful only so far as they enable you to grasp the poet's 
precise meaning. It is to help you in this that the notes 



INTRODUCTION X xix 

are inserted, not to administer information important in 
itself. 

Gain from study of a poem is twofold : appreciation of 
what the poet says, and appreciation of the art by which 
he says it. Add the poet's vision to your vision. Add 
too, to your own power of expression, a little, if only the 
tiniest fragment, of the power that you find in him. 

How are you to appreciate what the poet says ? Resolve 
to see every scene distinctly. Picture, for example, the 
" three" on the way to the feast, and the gaunt figure 
of the Ancient Mariner, picking out, with his glittering 
eye, the " one " who must hear his tale. See, if you can, 
some good illustrations. Dore's, while over-wrought, 
may prove suggestive. But, if your imagination be vivid, 
it will show you better pictures than you can find printed 
or engraved. In this process the teacher should help, by 
questioning his pupils with regard to each scene, and by 
having them compare the mental pictures that they see. 
This will suggest to each much that would have otherwise 
passed unnoticed. 

Build up each scene from its detail. See, for example, 
that the " ship" be not modern. It must harmonize with 
the Ancient Mariner. Recall, if you saw them at the 
World's Fair, the models of the Columbus earavels. If 
you live by the sea, or have ever seen it, recall, from your 
own experience, scenes of calm, of storm, of moonriae, oi 
sunset. If you have never seen the sea, recall piotnn 
the sky, of northern lights, star-dogged moons, bio 
suns. How many of all the pictures in the poem ran you 
duplicate in yourown experience P Remember that, al 
this, wKm you see these things again— a sea-bird folloi 
a ship, a harbor " strewn with level lighl M y«.n will ap- 
preciate them the more for having seen them here, under 
guidance of this sovereign lover of natun ap- 

proaching them through the golden gate <>f pot 



XXX INTRODUCTION 

Try to appreciate, too, the poet's art. Ask constantly 
what artistic impulse prompted him to select this word, 
this incident, this metrical form. Why could it not, just 
as well, have been otherwise ? Think of all the possible 
means of expression, all the possible turns of the story, 
and try to decide why, of all these, he settled on those 
before us. Examine every detail of the work. Try to 
find what purpose — perhaps, what unconscious purpose 
— inspired it. But do not, in this, lose sight of the 
more important thing — the emotion that pervades the 
whole. 

For method, take a few stanzas at each lesson, dwelling 
on each till, if possible, you have absorbed it into your 
memory, — not only in its words but in its spirit — till its 
poetry has become part of you, without the aid of printed 
letters. Try to enjoy without scorning study, and to study 
without missing enjoyment. Poetry, without pleasure, is 
profitless. 

VI. The Puepose of the Poem. 

Some will tell you to " interpret " the poem. Yqu would 
do better not to make the attempt. Shakespeare and 
Browning may need "interpreting" — certainly they get it. 
But beware lest you extract from poems ideas which the 
authors never put in, — which have, in fact, originated in 
your own "inner consciousness." As to the "Ancient 
Mariner," we have Coleridge's own assurance that it is 
innocent of deeper meaning than appears on the face : 

" Mrs. Barbauld once told me that she admired the ' Ancient Mar- 
iner ' very much, but that there were two faults in it, — it was improb- 
able and had no moral. As for the probability, I owned that that 
might admit some question ; but as to the want of a moral, I told 
her that, in my judgment, the poem had too much, and that the only 
or chief fault, if I might say so, was the obtrusion of the moral senti- 



INTRODUCTION xwi 

ment so openly on the reader as a principle or cause of action in a 
work of such pure imagination. It ought to have no more moral 
than the Arabian Nights' tale of the merchant's Bitting down to eat 
dates by the side of a well, and throwing the shells aside, and lo ! a 
geni starts up, and says he must kill the aforesaid merchant, be- 
cause one of the date-shells had, it seemed, put out the eye ol the 
geni's son."— Coleridge, ''Table-talk" (p. 324). 

Coleridge's leading idea was, it seems (see p. xvii.), 
merely to compose a thrilling poem of the supernatural, 
founded on his friend's strange dream of a ship full ol' 
dead men. The leading idea must have been the mystery 
of the ocean-spaces, where anything was possible ; and the 
presence of those beings invisible, inhabitants of every cle- 
ment. And it is through these stronger motives that we 
hear, like a quiet flute in the turmoil of an orchestra, 
the tender teaching, " He prayeth best who loveth bi 

A few say that the poem is an allegory, setting forth, in 
the form of a story,— as does " The Pilgrim's Progress "— 
a ""profound philosophy of life." The ship, such tell as, 
is "life, or a life" ; the voyage, progress from childhood 
to maturity, "when the Me begins to be conscious ol il 
through the pressure upon it of the ffot-me." One critic 
says That, without such interpretation, the poem i- 
mere musical farrago." Some of as may prefer mm 
farragos to unmusical metaphysics. Let as take the 
poem as Coleridge meant it, not as ingenious men may 
contrive to imagine that he meanl it. Do nol lei people 
steal from you this beautiful dreamland Btory, to turn it 
into rather a commonplace Bermon. True "inter] 
tion" is that which is contenl to accept, with humble ad- 
miration, the author's simple meaning. 

What is the lesson of the poem ? 5Tou will findahl 
of it in the beautiful .tan/a thai tells us to love all 
tures, great and Bmall. You will find far mor< 
spirit of the whole poem— a spirit to which hill and plain. 



xxxii INTRODUCTION 

sea and sky, have not lost their primal wonder, — the splen- 
dor of the time 

" When meadow, grove, and stream, 
The earth and every common sight 

.... did seem 
Apparelled in celestial light, 
The glory and the freshness of a dream." 



VII. Wider Reading. 

Read, besides the " Ancient Mariner," a few more of 
Coleridge's poems. " Christabel," especially the First 
Part, you will be sure to enjoy, particularly if you will b£ 
content to appreciate the mystery without demanding an 
explanation. The whole charm of the poem lies in its 
being beyond explanation. " Kubla Khan " you will find 
fascinating — most of all, the first lines. Mr. Swinburne 
says of this, "For absolute melody and splendour, it were 
hardly rash to call it the first poem in the language, a 
supreme model of music, a model unapproachable except 
by Shelley." You might read, besides these, the " Ode to 
France," the " Ode to Dejection," the " Lines to Words- 
worth," " The Dark Ladie," " Love," and " Frost at Mid- 
night." After this you may wander through the pages of 
his poems, pausing for whatever seems attractive. The 
plays you will find disappointing, the work of a man 
" inapt for dramatic poetry." If you read them, it will 
be largely as a study. 

Read, at the same time, if you can, some of the poetry 
of Wordsworth, — his poems about "Lucy"; a little, here 
and there, of the " Prelude " and the " Excursion " ; cer- 
tainly the great " Ode on the Intimations of Immor- 
tality." Remember that he and Coleridge had, with all 
their differences, much in common. Read, if you can, a 
little of the work of the others of the group of friends, — 



INTRODUCTION xxxiii 

Lamb, De Quincey, Southey, Hazlitt, and Leigh Hunt. 
See what qualities — if any— their work has in common. 
Make, in brief, this poem a centre, a nucleus, for more 
reading. That will give your work system, and help 
you to keep together as a whole your impressions of one 
period of literature. 



VIII. Some Criticisms on the Poem. 

The student will be helped, in forming his opinion of 
the " Ancient Mariner," by noticing what famous critics 
have said of it : 

"It is so well known that it needs no fresh comment. Only I 
will say that it may seem as though this great sea-piece might have 
had more in it of the air and savor of the sea. Perhaps it is none the 
worse, and indeed any one speaking of so great and famous l | 
must feel and know that it cannot but be right, although hi 
another may think it would be better if this were retrenched or that 
appended. And this poem is beyond question one of the supreme 
triumphs of poetry. The 'Ancient Mariner' has doubtless moi 
breadth and space, more of material force and motion, than anything 
else of the poet's. And the tenderness of sentimenl which touches 
with significant colour the pure white imagination is here do more 
morbid or languid, as in the earlier poems of feeling and emotion. 
It is soft and piteous enough, but womanly rather than effeminate i 
and thus serves indeed to set off the strange splendours and bound 
beauties of the .-dory. For the execution, [ presume no human < 
too dull to see how perfect if is and how high in kind of perfection. 
Here is not the speckless and elaborate finish which shoi 
where the fresh rasp of file or chisel on its smooth and Bpru 
lence : this is faultless after the fashion of a flower or I Thus 

hasit grown : not thus has it been carved " A..0. Swinburne, ' 
says and Studies," page 264. 

"Neither the poet himself nor his oompanioi 
ceived the extraordinary superiority of this wonderful conception to 
the other poems with which il ww published : foi not onl] 

subject more elevated, but it possessed in tact all the ness 



xxxiv INTRODUCTION 

of execution and faithfulness to its plan which they failed in. While 
"Wordsworth represented the light in the landscape chiefly in his 
imitation of the prominence sometimes given by the sunshine to the 
most insignificant spot, Coleridge carried out the similitude on his 
side with a faithfulness of the grandest kind. Like a great shadow 
moving noiselessly over the widest sweep of mountain and plain, a 
pillar of cloud — or like flight of indescribable fleecy hosts of winged 
vapors spreading their impalpable influence like a breath, changing 
the face of the earth, subduing the thoughts of men, yet nothing, and 
capable of no interpretation — such was the great poem destined to 
represent in the world of poetry the effect which these mystic cloud 
agencies have upon the daylight and the sky." — Mrs. Oliphant, 
" Literary History of England, 1790-1825." * 

" Fancies of the strange things which may very well happen, even in 
broad daylight, to men shut up alone in ships far off on the sea, seem 
to have arisen in the human mind in all ages with a peculiar readi- 
ness, and often have about them the fascination of a certain dreamy 
grace, which distinguishes them from other kinds of marvellous 
inventions. This sort of fascination the ' Ancient Mariner ' brings 
to its highest degree ; it is the delicacy, the dreamy grace in his pres- 
entation of the marvellous, that makes Coleridge's work so remarka- 
ble. The too palpable intruders from the spirit world, in almost all 
ghost literature, in Scott and Shakespeare even, have a kind of coarse- 
ness or crudeness. Coleridge's power is in the very fineness with 
which, as with some really ghostly finger, he brings home to our in- 
most sense his inventions, daring as they are — the skeleton ship, the 
polar spirit, the inspiriting of the dead bodies of the ship's crew ; the 
' Rime of the Ancient Mariner' has the plausibility, the perfect adap- 
tation to reason and the general aspect of life, which belongs to the 
marvellous when actually presented as part of a credible experience, 
in our dreams." — Walter Pater, in Ward's "English Poets." 



IX. Suggested Subjects for Compositions. 

A. Suggested Subjects for Long Compositions. — 1. The 
story of the poem. 2. Description and discussion of the 
human characters in the poem. 3. The supernatural 

* The student will do well to read all that Mrs. Oliphant has to say in ihisbook 
with regard to Wordsworth and Coleridge. 



INTRODUCTION 

XXXV 

figures and agencies of the poem. 4. The incident in the 
Ancient Mariner" that most moves me. 5 The ol.vi 
ous moral of the poem. (See page xxxi.) 6. The presence 
or absence of moral motive in the poem. (See page xxx i 
7. Why stories of the supernatural sometimes seem true 
(See page xxxiv.) 8. The lack of human character in the 
poem. (See page xv. ) 9. The elements that produce the 
effect of a dream. 10. The poem regarded as a picture 
of the sea. Is it accurate ? Is Mr. Swinburne's criticism 
just ? (See page xxxiii.) 

B. Suggested Subjects for Short Compositions.— I. A 
description of some one scene,— the Death-ship, the liar- 
bor, the Calm. 2. The story of the Albatross, of the re- 
turn to the harbor, of the rising of the dead men. 3. 
A short treatment of one of the topics suggested for loi 
compositions. 4. A discussion of the picture suggested 
by some one stanza. 5. A discussion of the form of some 
part of the poem. 

These are merely suggestions, a mere beginning of a 
list, to which each teacher may add indefinitelj >, eo 

far as possible, that each pupil write on that phase of t: 
poem that most interests him. 

C. Suggestions for Examination.— To some exteni build 

questions on the comments in the notes, and on the addi- 
tional comments made in class. Do n«,t ask question 
formal detail,— how many fathom deep the spirit slid. 
what the Albatross ate, in what latitude lee occurs, and 
the like. Ask rather questions that will lead the pupil 
to look into the meaning and into the poetry <-f the poem. 
The following questions may Bug 

1. What happened to the Pilot's Boj P Bj s ! 
aificani detail is it described ? \i. Describe Life-in-Death. 
Why is her appearance more horrible than that of Death P 

3. What is mentioned at the end of e\. i\ " Pari " but the 



xxxvi TNTROD UCTION 

last ? 4. Quote some stanza that you remember as par- 
ticularly musical. Explain its form. 5. What are the 
most effective details in the picture of the calm ? 6. 
"They stood as signals to the land." Who? Describe 
the scene. What comment was made on it in the notes ? 



X. Bibliography. 

The standard edition of Coleridge's Poetical Works is 
that which appeared in 1834, the year of his death. The 
latest reprint, that of B. M. Pickering, 1877, is founded 
on this. There is also an edition by W. M. Rossetti, con- 
taining a reprint of the earliest form of the "Ancient 
Mariner." 

For biographies, there is the " Life of Coleridge," by 
James Gillman (1838) ; " Reminiscences of Coleridge and 
Southey," by Joseph Cottle (1847); a "Life of Cole- 
ridge " (in the English Men of Letters Series), by H. D. 
Traill; a "Life," in "Lives of Famous Poets," by W. 
M. Rossetti. The new edition of Coleridge's letters 
(Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1895) casts not a little new 
light on his character and on the circumstances of his 
life. There is also much indirect biography contained 
in the writings of his friends and associates, in their 
letters, autobiographies, and reminiscent essays. Con- 
sult, for this, the works of De Quincey, Wordsworth. 
Southey, Lamb, Leigh Hunt, John Foster, Hazlitt, and., 
later, Carlyle. Good examples of the early reviews will 
be found in the Edinburgh Review for September, 1816 ; 
in BlackivoocV s Magazine for October, 1819 ; and in the 
North American Review for October, 1834. Later maga- 
zine articles will be found in Blackwood's for November. 
1871 ; in the Atlantic Monthly for April, 1880, and in 
the same magazine for September, 1895. 



INTRODUCTION xxxvn 



Helpful essays will be found in Edward Dowden's 
« Studies in Literature/' in J. C. S. Shairp's "Studies 
in Philosophy and Poetry/' in Mrs. Oliphant's " Literary 

History of England/' and in A. C. Swinburne's " Eta 
and Studies." Good, too, especially for older readers, is 
Walter Pater's essay introducing the selections from Cole- 
ridge in Ward's "English Poets." But it would be 
impossible to state in little space all the books that deal 
with a man whose personality was so essentially inter- 
woven with the literary life of his day. 



XXXV111 



INTRODUCTION 



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THE 

RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER 

IN SEVEN PARTS 

Facile credo, plures esse Natures invisibles quam visibiles in 
rerum universitate. Sed horum omnium familiam quis n<>l>i- enar 
rabit, et gradus et cognationes et discrimina et singuloruin mum 
Quid agunt ? quae loca habitant? Ilariun rerum notitiam sempei 
ambivit ingenium hurnanum, nunquam attigit. Juvat, interea, Don 
diffiteor, quandoque in animo, tanquam in tabula, majorisel meli- 
oris mundi imaginem contemplari : nc mens assuefacta hodierna 
vita minutiis se contrahat nimis, el tola Bubsidai in pusilla 
tiones. Sed veritati interea invigilandum est, modusqui adua, 

ut certa ab incertis, diem a node, distinguamus. 

T. BUBNET ': A.ECHJEO] . I'llll.., |». I 

Translation— "\ find It easy to believe that In the universe the visible h 
are outnumhered by the invisible. Bui who shall tell us U* 
these, their rank, their kindreds, the signa bj which th< I, the 

gifts in which they excel f What Is their task ? Wl re Is tl 
full knowledge of these wonders, the mind of man 

the centre. .Meanwhile, I trust, it will 

as in a picture, the Image .1 this other woi 
minds, becoming wont to the pettj di 

and sink to paltry thoughts. We must, 

toward truth, preserving temperance oi 
from things uncertain, day from night* 11 

1 Burnel was a distinguished divine who flourished in tl 
hall of the seventeenth century, dying in 1 i • 

the origin of the world contained in G 
time passed as a Bcienl iflc 1 real ise. 



PART THE FIRST. 



I. 

It is an ancient Mariner, 

And he stoppeth one of three. 

?anTde- " B ? th ^ lon S &*? beard illld glittering eye, 

Now wherefore stoppst thou me ? 



An ancient 
Mariner meet- 
eth three Gal- 
lants bidden to 
a weddin 
feast 
taineth one. 



II. 

" The Bridegroom's doors are opened wide, 
And I am next of kin ; 
The guests are met, the feast Is set : 
Mayst hear the merry din." 

The glosses — Coleridge's prose comments in the margin— should 
be read carefully, both in connection with the poem, and by them- 
selves. They were added, in Sibyllxm Leaves, some time after the 
poem was written, in imitation of an old custom. Fou will find 
them of help in indicating the action of the poem. 

I. It is. A beginning common in talcs ami old ballads. It 
man lam going to tell you about— is. The principal flgui ughl 
before us at once. Ancient Mariner. Whynot old 

as in the gloss at the side of the page ? WTiat difference is then 

the suggestion ? Prom what language iseach phraa 

of thnc Why one of three, rather than of toui 

on XIX.) Does the fact, (hat other pa are thu 

add to the mental picture called op by thi 

Abrupt, l-ut we guess the Bpeaker. WTiat 

description— that is description introduced not formally, hut 

by accident ? Bow do you gel your impression 

What is it ? W'hv is the Wedding^GuesI introdm 

not the Mariner tell his tale directly t" the 

ing better than shining orfla 

II. Whv are Brid 

Notice the form of the verb QSed, and the I 

dueed by the omission of the subject. 



4 



TEE AJSC1EJST MAKINER 



III. 

He holds him with his skinny hand, 
" There was a ship/' quoth he. 
" Hold off ! unhand me, gray-beard loon ! n 
Ef tsoons his hand dropt he. 



10 



The Wedding- 
Guest is spell- 
bound by the 
eye of the old 
sea-faring 
man, and con- 
strained to 
hear his tale. 



IV. 

He holds him with his glittering eye- 
The Wedding-Guest stood still, 

And listens like a three years' child : 
The Mariner hath his will. 



15 



V. 



The Wedding-Guest sat on a stone ; 

He cannot choose but hear ; 
And thus spake on that ancient man, 

The bright-eyed Mariner. 



20 



III. Ths Mariner ignores the Guest's protest. He seems not to 
hear it. This increases the uncanny impression. What kind of 
being, we ask, is this, on whom words have no effect ? There was a 
ship. The ship, as, later, the Albatross, the calm, and the Death- 
ship, appears suddenly, as things appear in dreams, without expla- 
nation or preparation. We are in a world of wonders. Loon. Com- 
pare Macbeth, ''The devil damn thee black, thou cream-faced loon" 
(Act V., sc. iii., line 2). Eftsoons, immediately, straightway. To 
us the word has a more leisurely suggestion. Dropt. How does this 
verb compare in tense with holds ? What do you observe with re- 
gard to tenses throughout the opening stanzas ? What is the effect 
of this uncertainty of time ? Observe the spelling. Can you find 
other words in the poem similarly spelled ? 

V. Does bright, in bright-eyed, suggest glittering ? Is it not, per- 
haps, unfortunately cheerful in suggestion ? 



THE ANCIENT MARINER 



ee 



VI. 



The ship was cheered, the harbour cleared, 

Merrily did we drop 
Below the kirk, below the hill, 

Below the lighthouse top. 



The Mariner 
tells how the 
ship sailed 
southward 
with a good 
wind and fair 
weather, till 
it reached the 
Line. 



VII. 

" The sun came up upon the left, 
Out of the sea came he ! 
And he shone bright, and on the right 
Went down into the sea. 



VIII. 



25 



iC 



Higher and higher every day, 
Till over the mast at noon — " 

The Wedding-Guest here beat his breast, 
For he heard the loud bassoon. 



30 



VI A moment ago we Learned that there was a ship. Suddi 
we are aboard and under way. Drop Used in a nautical 
move (lmvll the coast. Below the lighthouse top is, ... this 
nection, a little confusing. Probably the poel had in mind 
related Ldeaof the lighthouse top dropping-vamshing I an. 

below the horizon. 

VII Compare the beginning of Teni 
Read ,1-. Longfellow's The D 

in a small degree, recalls the manner of thi . 
the story has passed into the op 

VIII -When the Ancient Mariner[TF« it th( 
thought he heard 'the loud / he p* 

the kind" -F W. A,, il..,-,.. ... B 

gramme, [s the criticism true? IN' is, toil imp 



THE ANCIENT MARINER 



IX. 



The Wedding- 
Guest heareth 
the bridal 
music ; but 
the Mariner 
continueth his 
tale. 



The bride hath paced into the hall, 

Ked as a rose is she ; 
Nodding their heads before her goes 

The merry minstrelsy. 



35 



X. 



The Wedding-Guest he beat his breast, 
Yet he cannot choose but hear ; 

And thus spake on that ancient man, 
The bright-eyed Mariner. 



40 



XI. 



The ship 
drawn by a 
storm toward 
the south pole. 



" And now the Storm-Blast came, and he 
Was tyrannous and strong : 
He struck with his overtaking wings, 
And chased us south along. 



IX. Their heads . . . goes. Is this violation of the rule of concord 
justifiable? Why? Cf. "But first the nodding minstrels go." 
Coleridge, Ballad of the Dark Ladie. Why is nodding appropriate ? 

X. This stanza is repeated almost verbatim from V. A critic con- 
demns Coleridge for "trying to awaken our feelings by the force of 
verbal iteration." What do you think of the charge ? 



XI. Is the "along" called for by the thought, or by the rhyme; 
or by both ? What figure of speech is used in this stanza ? 



THE ANCIENT MARINER 



The land of 
ice, and of 
fearful 

sounds, where 
no living 
thing was to be 
seen. 



XII. 

With sloping masts and dipping prow, 45 

As who pursued with yell and blow- 
Still treads the shadow of his foe, 

And forward bends his head, 
The ship drove fast, loud roared the blast, 
And southward aye we fled. 50 

XIII. 

And now there came both mist and snow, 

And it grew wondrous cold : 
And ice, mast-high, came floating by, 

As green as emerald. 

XIV. 

And through the drifts the snowy clifts 55 

Did send a dismal sheen : 
Nor shapes of men nor beasts we ken — 

The ice was all between. 



If not, 
Maki 



XII. If you have ever seen a gale at sea, recall the picture 
try to find some good picture to help your imagination. 
mental picture of the ship, with sloping masts, etc / tads the 
shadow. What docs this mean ? What does it Imply ? How i- 

to be pronounced in this sense? See the dictionary. Thisstania 
contains six lines. How arc they distributed '.' See the Introduc- 
tion, III. 

XIII. Suggested, it may be, by Captain James's Storanat and 
Dangerous Voyage, published in London, \t\'-V-\. The book describes 
"Ice as high as our Top-Mast-Head," which had ••-harp blu< 

ners," and made " a hollow and a hideOUS n«»i Dnd- 

encein the Athenmum, L890. The Ice, like tl ther apparitions, 

comes with no preparat ion. 

XIV. Drifts. Snowdrifts! Would "clifts n then show thn 
them ? Try the word in the sense of driving clouda and 
snow. Clifts. An old form, a confusion, pert 

"clefts." CJ Robinson Crusoe, " climbed up the clifts of tl 
Sheen. Like the cold light of a snow-storm. AUk 
what V How i- bettor n Qsed I" 



8 



THE ANCIENT MARINER 



XV. 

The ice was here, the ice was there, 

The ice was all around : 60 

It cracked and growled, and roared and howled, 

Like noises in a swound 1 



Till a great 
sea-bird, 
called the 
Albatross, 
came through 
the snow-fog, 
and was re- 
ceived with 
freat joy and 
ospitality. 



XVI. 

At length did cross an Albatross : 
Thorough the fog it came ; 

As if it had been a Christian soul, 
We hailed it in God's name. 

XVII. 

It ate the food it ne'er had eat, 
And round and round it flew. 

The ice did split with a thunder-fit ; 
The helmsman steered us through ! 



65 



70 



XV. Swound. Archaic for " swoon." Like noises that one hears 
when swooning. Try to imagine them. 

XVI. Did cross. Crossed our course. Compare the common 
phrase, "I came across it." Thorough. The old form of " through " 
is used here for metrical convenience. Why would not "through " 
fit as well ? Realize, as vividly as you can, the delight of these men, 
so long out of sight of land, at meeting a living thing. 

XVII. Had eat. A form of the verb now obsolete and inelegant. 
Thunder-fit. A noise like thunder, "A burst of thunder-sound." 
Steered us through. Recall the old story of the Argo and the Sym- 
plegades. A dim recollection of it may have been in Coleridge's 
mind. See Murray's Manual of Mythology, pp. 273-274. Read 
William Morris's Jason. See, too, Swinburne : 

" When the oars won their way 
Where the narrowing Symplegades whitened the straits of Propontis with spray.'* 



THE ANCIENT MARINER 







And lo! the 

Albatross 
proveth a bird 
of good omen, 
and followeth 
the ship as it 
returned 
northward, 
through fog 
and floating 
ice. 



XVIII. 

And a good south wind sprung up behind ; 

The Albatross did follow, 
And every day, for food or play, 

Came to the mariners' hollo ! 

XIX. 

In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud, 7fi 

It perched for vespers nine ; 
Whiles all the night, through fog-smoke white. 

Glimmered the white moon-shine." 



The ancient 
Mariner 
Inhospitably 
killeth the 
pious bird of 
good omen. 



XX. 

" God save thee, ancient Mariner! 

From the fiends, that plague thee thus ! — 80 
Why lookst thou so?" — " With mv »OW 

I shot the Albatross." 



XIX. Shroud. One of the supporting ropes thai run from the matt- 
head to the side of the ship. I nine, I the 
religion of the world in the time in which the Boene [a laid. R 
was it ? Nine. The prevailing numbers in this poem are three, ttte, 
seven, and nine. The odd numbers have always been regarded as 
particularly appropriate to the mystical or BupernaturaL Bee, tot 
example, Rossetti's Blessed tl: 

"She. had three lillee In ber hand, 
And the itan In hex heir m • 

Tennyson writes, in the ll> 

"... Five Mih I thn 
Let it not be nolaed abroad, make an ewfnl 
There are, yon remember, nine mn a wonders of the world, 

three fates, etc. 

XX. Qodeavetheel Why does he say thlt ? H 
Note the abruptness of the answer. 1' 

line. Can ?ou find another line so abruptly 

See how this form emphasia 

of the world was tie oross-b What WM \** 

ends with mention of the albatross Why ? 



PART THE SECOND. 



XXI. 

" The Sun now rose upon the right : 
Out of the sea came he, 
Still hid in mist, and on the left 
Went down into the sea. 



85 



XXII. 

And the good south wind still blew behind, 

But no sweet bird did follow, 
Nor any day, for food or play, 

Came to the mariners' hollo ! 90 



His ship- 
mates cry out 
against the 
ancient Mari- 
ner, for killing 
the bird of 
good luck. 



XXIII. 

And I had done a hellish thing, 
And it would work 'em woe : 

For all averred, I had killed the bird 

That made the breeze to blow. 
'Ah, wretch !' said they, 'the bird to slay, 
That made the breeze to blow ! ' 



95 



XXI. Varied from XXVII. Why is the change first mentioned 
here ? They had already been sailing north " for vespers nine." 

XXII. Varied from what previous stanza ? 

XXIII. 'Em. Would a writer of to-day be likely to use this in a 
serious poem, even if, according to one critic, it is "a sign not of 
barbarism, but of a fondness for the choicest of Old English " ? 
What contractions are not out of place in poetry ? 



THE ANCIENT MARINER 



11 



But when the 
fog cleared 
off, they jus- 
tify the same, 
and thus make 
themselves 
accomplices 
in the crime. 



The fair breeze 
continues ; the 
ship enters the 
Pacific Ocean 
and sails north- 
ward, even till 
it reaches the 
Line. 



The ship hath 
been suddenly 
becalmed. 



XXIV. 

Nor dim nor red, like God's own head, 

The glorious Sun uprist : 
Then all averred, I had killed the bird 

That brought the fog and mist. 100 

' 'Twas right/ said they, * such birds to slay, 

That bring the fog and mist/ 

XXV. 

The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew, 

The furrow followed free : 
We were the first that ever burst 105 

Into that silent sea. 

XXVI. 

Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down, 

'Twas sad as sad could be ; 
And we did speak only to break 

The silence of the sea ! 110 



XXIV. Pauso after red. The phrase like GfooVa own head mod- 
ifies Sun. Read carelessly, the stanza makes nonsense, 

XXV. The original edition reads followed free. Coleridgechai 

it to "streamed off free," observing that, seen from Bhipboard the 
furrow did ool follow, but streamed off. Later, however, he re- 
sumed the first form, for the sake of smoothness of sound ; all 
some extent, for the sake of BWiftm ( ompare the effect of tin 
t wo. I observe t hal t bis weighing of forms mnsi be the oonstant task 
of every conscientious writer. Tnto thai eiieni secu Tin- >il«'ut sea 
comes as suddenly as the ice and the Albatr I impare ■ similar 
phrase in Kubla Khan : 

'• Where Alpli the laered riv.r ran 

Through caverna i tan, 

iti.w ii to ■ ranli 

XXVI. Note how the speed of line 105 is checked In the halting 
movemenl of line 107. You can feel the ship itop. Why is it hard 
to read line 107 rapidly ? Why did the writer pui suoh ■ line l" 
Why not down dropt the sails, keeping the same order ai the first 
clause? This stanxa ends with tin- sanu- rliym the 
last. Note the drear] effi 



12 THE ANCIENT MARINER 

XXVII. 

All in a hot and copper sky, 

The bloody Sun, at noon, 
Right up above the mast did stand, 

No bigger than the Moon. 

XXVIII. 

Day after day, day after day, 115 

We stuck, nor breath nor motion ; 

As idle as a painted ship 
Upon a painted ocean. 

XXIX. 

And the ai. Water, water, everywhere, 

toSenfed! And all the boards did shrink ; 120 

Water, water, everywhere, 
Nor any drop to drink. 

XXX. 

The very deep did rot : Christ ! 

That ever this should be ! 
Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs 1 25 

Upon the slimy sea. 

XXVII. All. What does it mean here ? Note the effect of each 
adjective. Is any superfluous ? Why is copper appropriate ? 

XXVIII. Bay after day. The repetition suggests the monotony. 
Stuck. Not a pretty word ; but can you find a pretty word that shall 
be as forcible ? 

XXIX. Why could they not drink it ? Why was not the presence 
of the water cooling ? 

XXX. With legs. What kind of slimy things does this suggest ? 
The repetition of slimy adds force. 



THE ANCIENT MARINER 






XXXI. 

About, about, in reel and rout 
The death-fires danced at night; 

The water, like a witch's oils, 
Burnt green, and blue, and white. 



130 



XXXII. 



And some in dream- assured were 
Of the Spirit that plagued as so : 

Nine fathom deep he had followed ns 
From the land <>l* mist and Bnow. 



A. spirit had 
followed 
them ; one of 
the invisible 
inhabitants of 
this planet, 
neither depart- 
ed souls nor 

angeJs ; concerning whom the learned Jew, Josephus, and the Platon 
Michael Psellus, may be consulted. They are very numerous, and thi timate 

or element without one or more. 



XXXIII. 

And every tongue, through utter drought, 

Was withered ai I he pool ; 
We could nnt speak, no more than if 

We had been choked with Boot. 

XXXT. Rout. See dictionary. Death-Jlna. Phosphoric ligl 
corpse-candles. Perhaps, fc lmo*s Bros, the mast-head I ■. 

thai sailors call "corposants." WitcN* oih. The ua 
fires was a common device of necroman< i 

XXXII. I- the reader really supposed to look up ti 
authorities mentioned in the glo i m yon find »n) 
for their being mentioned here " ,,lv 

whal they had Buspected. Perl 
idiom is the phrase a little like thorn U 

actual depth is of little moment. A 
tical" number. The Spiril keepsouf • Wou 

withoul loss to the effect on our ima 
the deck and Bpeak to the Mar 
Pater, on page xxxh Plag 

\\.\lll The last two Lin< 
there a double i In thethird lin< I Wi. 



u 



THE ANCIENT MARINER 



XXXIV. 



The ship- 
mates in their 
sore distress 
would fain 
throw the 
whole guilt on 
the ancient 
Mariner : in 
sign whereof 
they hang the 
dead sea-bird 
round his neck. 



Ah ! well-a-day ! what evil looks 
Had I from old and young ! 

Instead of the cross, the Albatross 
About my neck was hung. 



140 



XXXIV. Well-a-day. A mixture of * ' walaway " (an old exclama- 
tion of distress) and "Woe's the day!" The Albatross appears 
again at the end of the part. 



PART THE THIRD. 



The ancient 
Mariner be- 
holdeth a sign 
in the element 
afar off. 



XXXV. 

There passed a weary time. Each throat 
Was parched, and glazed each eye. 

A weary time ! a weary time ! 145 

How glazed each weary eye ! 

When looking westward, I beheld 
A something in the sky. 

XXXVI. 



At first it seemed a little speck, 
And then it seemed a mist : 

It moved and moved, and took at last 
A certain shape, I wist. 



150 



WWII. 

A speck, a mist, a shape, I wist! 
And still it neared and aeared : 
As if it dodged a wrater-sprite, 

It plunged and tacked and TO 



l.V. 



XXXV. The indefinite aomeiMng rouses oui ouriodty a» it did 
Mariner's. 

XXXVI. 1 inst. Inserted for meaning, or toi rhyn 

XXXVII. Water-sprite. This comparison keeps ui la tone* with 
the supernatural. Tacked So%\ a at a n aat t oal teem. It 

expresses here merely irajrwaid motion. 



16 



THE ANCIENT MARINER 



XXXVIII. 



At its nearer 
approach, it 
seemeth him 
to be a ship ; 
and at a dear 
ransom he 
freeth his 
speech from 
the bonds of 
thirst. 



With throats unslaked, with black lips baked, 

We could nor laugh nor wail ; 
Through utter drought all dumb we stood ! 
I bit my arm, I sucked the blood, 160 

And cried., A sail ! a sail ! 



XXXIX. 

With throats unslaked, with black lips bakeil, 

Agape they heard me call : 
A flash of joy. Gramercy ! they for joy did grin, 

And all at once their breath drew in, 165 

As they were drinking all. 



XXXVIII. The extra line adds suspense. See page xxiv. Note 
the effect of the means by which the Mariner found his voice. It 
was not simply " with difficulty." 



XXXIX. Gramercy. Originally "grand merci," great thanks. 
Here merely intensive. For joy did grin. "I took the thought of 
grinning for joy from poor Burnett's remark to me when we had 
climbed to the top of Plinlimmon, and were nearly dead with thirst. 
We could not speak for the constriction till we found a little puddle 
under a stone. He said to me, ' You grinned like an idiot.' He 
had done the same." — Coleridge, Table-talk. But is not the realism 
a trifle grotesque ? As they were drinking. Note the appropriate- 
ness of the figure. 



THE ANCIENT MARINER 



17 



And horror 
follows. For 
can it be a 
ship that 
conies onward 
without wind 
or tide ? 



XL. 

See ! see ! (I cried) she tacks no more ! 

Hither to work us weal, — 
Without n breeze, without a tide, 

She steadies with upright keel ! 



170 



XLL 

The western wave was all a-flame. 
The day was well-nigh done ! 

Almost upon the western wave 
Rested the broad bright Sun ; 

When that strange shape drove suddenly 
Betwixt us and the Sun. 



175 



XL. She steadies. Used elnVlh Arc the Last two 

lines of the stanza as joyful a- the firs! ? I- there n<>t dread m 
with them? Compare Longfellow's Phantom Ship: 

" On she Came with ;i crowd of c;uiv:is, 

Right against the wind thai blew, 

Until the eye COOld distinguish 

The f;iccs of her <n w." 

The "Flying Dutchman " always came, as in the old ballad, 
windward." The first steamships terrified ignorant sailors by doing 
the same thing. Compare Longfi I. I 'armilhan : 

"Aghostl; ship, with ;i ghostly 1 

In tempests phe a] ; 
And before tin- gale, or against the gale, 
Bhe sails without til. 

Without a helmsman at 

The whole poem, in many ways, will recall the .1/- 

XLI. With this comes certaintj "f the supernatural. The 
becomes thai strange shape. (One editor n 
th,. repetition of the rhyme-word .s'"». Compart 

L< 1 : 

•• in hi r palchrc there bj the - 
in bar tomb by th< 

Broad. What • !"«•- this imply'.' it the sun 1 mplj 

an enlarged pjrcje ' J . 



18 



THE ANCIENT MARINER 



XLII. 



It seemeth 
him but the 
skeleton of a 
ship. 



And straight the Sun was flecked with bars. 

(Heaven's Mother send us grace !) 
As if through a dungeon-grate he peered, 

With broad and burning face. 180 



XLIII. 

Alas ! (thought I, and my heart beat loud,) 

How fast she nears and nears ! 
Are those her sails that glance in the Sun, 

Like restless gossameres ? 



XLIV. 



And its ribs 
are seen as 
bars on the 
face of the set- 
ting Sun. 
The Spectre- 
Woman and her 
Death-mate, 
and no other on 
board the skel- 
eton-ship. 



Are those her ribs through which the Sun 
Did peer as through a grate ? 

And is that Woman all her crew ? 

Is that a Death ? and are there two ? 
Is Death that Woman's mate ? 



185 



XLII. Heaven's Mother, 
feelings joyful now ? 



See note on stanza XIX. Were his 



XLIII. Is he glad that she is nearing fast ? Why is her italicized ? 
Read the line aloud. Why is Woman capitalized ? Why a Death ? 
Why not simply Death f 



THE ANCIENT MARINER 



19 



Like vessel, 
like crew 1 



XLV. 

Her lips were red. her looks were free, 

Her locks were yellow as gold : 
Her skin was as white as lepro 
The Night-mare Life-in-Death was she, 
"Who thicks man's blood with cold. 



190 



Death and 
Life-in- 
Death have 
diced for the 
ship's crew, 
and she (the 
latter) winneth 
the ancient 
Mariner. 



No twilight 
within the 

courts of the 
Sun. 



XLVi. 

The naked hulk alongside came, 105 

And the twain were casting dici 

'The game is done ! I've won. I've wun!' 
Quoth she, and whistles thrii 

XLVII. 

The Sun's rim dips ; the Btars rush out : 

At one stride comes t be dark : 
With far-heard whisper, o'er : 
Off shot the sped re-bark. 



XLV. Why is Dciith not described as well 
lips and golden hair are certainl) noi in tin 
only when we join to them skin \ 
becomes horrible, -the more horrible for Ih 
contradictory details any fitness to th< Niink of 

name. 

XLVI. Naked even of plankii 
she whistle? WTiythri IX - '" 

stanza followed this : 

• \ • of winde Bterte up I 

And whistled throi 
Through the \ 
Hall 
What reason can you 

MAIL Note the rapiditj 
due? What would 
oal form ot tl What 

"courts of the sun 



20 



THE ANCIENT MARINER 



XLVIII. 



A.t the rising 
of the Moon, 



We listened and looked sideways up t 
Fear at my heart, as at a cup, 

My life-blood seemed to sip ! 205 

The stars were dim, and thick the night, 
The steersman's face by his lamp gleamed white ; 

From the sails the dew did drip — 
Till clomb above the eastern bar 
The horned Moon, with one bright star 210 

Within the nether tip. 



XLIX. 



One after 
another, 



One after one, by the star-dogged Moon, 

Too quick for groan or sigh, 
Each turned his face with a ghastly pang, 

And cursed me with his eye. 



215 



XLVIII. Looked sideivays up. Why not directly up or down ? 
What does the position imply ? Observe the fitness of the compar- 
ison. Recall some time when you have been afraid. His lamp. In 
front of the steersman a small, partly covered lamp illuminates the 
compass. The light reflected on the steersman's face would have 
a ghastly effect. The deiv did drip. Suggestive of what kind of 
weather ? of wind ? Clomb. Would you use this in prose ? Ten- 
nyson writes: 

" And dewed with showery drops 
Up-clomb the shadowy pine above the woven copse. " —Lotos- Eaters. 

Bar, edge of the sea. Often it shows, at moonrise, as a bright bar. 
Horned, two syllables. Within. Was it actually within ? Could 
it have been ? Observe the form of the stanza. See the Introduc- 
tion, p. xxiv. 



XLIX. " It is a common superstition amon£ sailors that something 
is going to happen when stars dog the moon." — Coleridge. 



THE ANCIENT MARINER 



21 



L. 



His shipmates 
(irop down 
•lead. 



Four times fifty living men, 

(And I heard nor sigh nor groan) 

With heavy thump, a lifeless lump, 
They dropped down one hy one. 



LI. 



But Life-in* 
Death be- 
gins her work 
on the ancient 

Mariner. 



The souls did from their bodies fly, — 

They fled to bliss or woe ! 
And every soul, it passed me by, 

Like the whizz of my eross-bowl 



>> 



22C 



L. Thump, lump. This rhyme Bounds, to the modern ear, un- 
dignified. Perhaps tin's is because bo many undignified words— 
"bump," "dump," " hump," etc.— end in this way. But the Bound 
seems to have had more dignity. In an old ballad we are told quite 

seriously of a man who was " in doleful dumps." 

LI. And every soul. Compare the lasl li 

Belen: 

" Ah ! what white thing at the door baa enweeo, 
r Helen f 
All ! what is thil i 

» 4 A aoul that's loel at mini 
Little brothei 

{Oh Ui>th>r, ' 

The last lines of this pari carry tu back to the Albatrosa, 



PART THE FOURTH. 



The Wedding- 
Guest feareth 
that a Spirit is 
talking to him; 



LIL 

I fear thee, ancient Mariner ! 

I fear thy skinny hand ! 
And thou art long, and. lank, and brown, 

As is the ribbed sea-sand. 



225 



But the an- 
cient Mariner 
assureth him 
of his bodily 
life, and pro- 
ceed eth to re- 
late his horri- 
ble penance. 



LIII. 

" I fear thee, and thy glittering eye, 
And thy skinny hand, so brown." — 

" Fear not, fear not, thou Wedding-Guest ! 230 

This body dropt not down. 

LIV. 

Alone, alone, all, all alone, 

Alone on a wide, wide sea ! 
And never a saint took pity on 

My soul in agony. 235 



LII. The fear is explained in the gloss. Read LIL in close con- 
nection with what precedes. Lines three and four were composed 
by Wordsworth. Do they join on smoothly, or can you detect the 
patch ? Ribbed. Sea-sand, at low tide, is marked by ripples, left 
by the receding waves. 

LIV. Note the repeated alone, with its long vowel. See above, in 
the quotation from Rossetti, a similar repetition of " lost." Never a 
saint. Why never instead of " not " 9 Is there a difference in force ? 
In what churches are saints prayed to ? 



TEE ANCIENT MARINER 



23 



LV. 



Ho despiaeth 
the creatures 
of the calm. 



The many men, so beautiful ! 

And they all dead did lie : 
And a thousand thousand slimy things 

Lived on ; and so did I. 



LVI. 



And envieth 
that they 
should live, 
and so many 
lie dead. 



I looked upon the rotting sea, 
And drew my eyes away : 

I looked upon the rotting deck, 
And there the dead men lay. 



24 U 



LVII. 



I looked to Heaven and tried to pray ; 

But or ever a prayer had gusht, 
A wicked whisper cam'', and made 

My heart as dry as dust. 






LV. So beautiful. In themselves ? Lamb— In a pen 1— 

suggested thai they were "Vagabonds, all covered with pit 
But what does Coleridge mean - Does he not mi 
higher works of God, beautiful in comparison with th< 
things" thai lived on ? The Mariner's cure ws 
Be could nol yel Love and admire all thai God had made. 

LVI. Rotting. Recall, if you hi 
nant, Ball water. What do you observe in 

lines one and 111; 

LVII. What is the hearl compared to? 1 
rhyme ? How would you Bpell 



24 



THE ANCIENT MARINER 



LVIII. 

I closed my lids, and kept them close, 

And the balls like pulses beat ; 
For the sky and the sea, and the sea and the 

sky 25C 

Lay like a load on my weary eye, 

And the dead were at my feet. 



But the curse 
liveth for him 
in the eye of 
the dead men. 



LIX. 

The cold sweat melted from their limbs, 

Nor rot nor reek did they : 
The look with which they looked on me 

Had never passed away. 



255 



LX. 



An orphan's curse would drag to Hell 

A spirit from on high ; 
But oh ! more horrible than that 

Is a curse in a dead man's eye ! 260 

Seven days, seven nights, I saw that curse, 

And yet I could not die. 



LVIII. Notice the anapestic third line. What alliteration do you 
observe ? 

LIX. Reek. See the dictionary. This is the first stage of the 
punishment ; the beginning of Life-in-Death. 

LX. Seven. See note on stanza XIX. 



TEE ANCIENT MARINER 



25 



In his loneli- 
ness and fixed- 
ness he yearn- 
eth towards 
the journeying 
Moon, and the 
stars that still 



LXI. 

The moving Moon went up the sky, 

And nowhere did abide : 
Softly she was going up, 

And a star or two beside — 



2G5 



sojourn, yetstill 
move onward ; 
and every where 
the hlue sky he- 
longs to them, 
and is their ap- 
pointed rest, 
and their native 



LXII. 

Her beams bemocked the sultry main, 

Like April hoar-frost spread ; 
But where the ship's huge shadow lay, 
The charmed water burnt alway 
A still and awful red. 



270 



country and 
their own nat- 

^^^%^A^°™«* M lords that are ce *ainly expected and yet 



LXIII. 



By the light of 
the Moon he 
beholdeth 
God's crea- 
tures of the 
great calm. 



Beyond the shadow of the ship, 

I watched the water-snake : 
They moved in tracks of shining white, 
And when they reared, the elfish light 
Fell off in hoary ilakes. 



275 



LXI. Read the gloss aloud. Whal poetical thoughl is in it thai is 
not in the text ? While ii is pros..- in form, it is in substance as 
poetical as any pari of the poem. 

LXII. Written continuously with LXI., yet with an independent 

rhyme system 

LXIII. Elfish, a word of indefinite supernatural suggestion. 

11 Hark, 'tis an elfin storm from faery land, 

Of haggard seeming."— Keata, J «■*. 



2G 



THE ANCIENT MARINER 



LXIV. 

Within the shadow of the ship 

I watched their rich attire : 
Blue, glossy green, and velvet black, 
They coiled and swam ; and every track 

Was a flash of golden fire. 



280 



Their beauty 
and their 
happiness. 



He blesseth 
them in his 
heart. 



LXV. 

happy living things ! no tongue 
Their beauty might declare : 

A spring of love gushed from my heart, 
And I blessed them unaware ! 

Sure my kind saint took pity on me, 
And I blessed them unaware ! 



385 



The epell be- 
gins to break. 



LXVI. 

The selfsame moment I could pray ; 

And from my neck so free 
The Albatross fell off, and sank 

Like lead into the sea. 



290 



LXIV. Their color appears more clearly in the still and awful red 
of the ship's shadow. Recall, if you have seen it, the phosphorescence 
of sea-water. 

LXV. They are no longer slimy things ; they, too, are beautiful. 
The Mariner's perception of this removes, or begins to remove, the 
curse. Compare, for form, stanzas XXIII., XXIV., and XLI. 

LXVI. What does so free modify ? Albatross or neck ? What 
scene in Pilgrim's Progress does this recall ? The Albatross carries 
the weight of offence with it. The story is, for the instant, allegor- 
ical. 



PAET THE FIFTH. 



LXVII. 

Oh sleep ! it is a gentle thing, 
Beloved from pole to pole ! 

To Mary Queen the praise be given ! 

She sent the gentle sleep from Heaven, 
That slid into my soul. 



295 



By grace of 
the holy 
Mother, the 
ancient Mari- 
ner is refreshed 
with rain. 



LXVIII. 

The silly buckets on the deck, 

That had so long remained, 
I dreamt that they were filled with dew ; 

And when I awoke, it rained. 



300 



LXIX. 

My lips were wet, my throat was cold, 

My garments all were dank ; 
Sure I had drunken in my dreams, 

And still my body drank. 

LXVII. Sleep. Bleep is much praised by poets. See Macbeth II 

u., 7; the second part of King Henry TV., i., :. :;i ; also g 
Endymion, Book i., lino 45:}, and what immediately follows 
too, the sonnet by Sir Philip Sidney, beginning : 

"Comic, Bleep ! Sleep, the certain knot of p . 

The baiting-place of wit. the balm of wo 
Probably you can recall other passages. Mary Queen. See stansa 
XIX. Shd. Why more appropriate than "came"? 

lA'Vin. SiUy. The word ftrsl mean! blessed, then innoceeJ then 
emple; finally, fooliehly simple. Here, empty, useless, Why is 
their uselessnesa here significant ? 

LXIX. Sure. This same form occurred in the sai xmttrnotioii 

in stanza LXV. Would yon use it in that way now ? 



28 



THE ANCIENT MARINER 



LXX. 

I moved, and couid not feel my limbs : 

I was so light — almost 
I thought that I had died in sleep, 

And was a blessed ghost. 



305 



LXXI. 



He heareth 
Bounds, and 
seeth 6trange 
eights and 
commotions in 
the sky and 
the element. 



And soon I heard a roaring wind : 

It did not come anear ; 
But with its sound it shook the sails, 

That were so thin and sere. 



310 



LXXII. 



The upper air burst into life ! 

And a hundred fire-flags sheen, 
To and fro they were hurried about ; 
And to and fro, and in and out, 

The wan stars danced between. 



315 



LXX. So light. Remember how you have felt after a long illness. 
Almost modifies thought. Pause after light. A blessed ghost, as 
opposed to a lost, damned ghost ; or a blessed ghost, as opposed to a 
very miserable living man. 

LXXI. Anear. What is the modern form ? Sere. Usually ap- 
plied to what ? What implied comparison? What is the meaning 
of element in the gloss ? See dictionary. Cf. gloss on XXXII. 

LXXII. Examine the construction of the second line. Fire-flags 
is the subject. The sentence is pleonastic in form. Sheen is an 
adjective modifying flags. We have had it before as a noun. See 
XIV. What lights, sometimes seen in the sky, might be called fire 
flags ? In what quarter of the heavens do they appear ? 



TEE ANCIENT MARINER 



29 



LXXIII. 

And the coming wind did roar more loud, 

And the sails did sigh like sedge ; 
And the rain poured down from one black 

cloud ; 320 

The Moon was at its edge. 



LXXIV. 

The thick black cloud was cleft, and still 

The Moon was at its side : 
Like waters shot from some high crag, 
The lightning fell with never a jag, 
A river steep and wide. 



325 



The bodies of 
the Hhip's 
crew are in- 
spired, and 

the bhip moves 
on : 



LXXV. 

The loud wind never reached the ship, 
Yet now the ship moved on ! 

Beneath the lightning and the Moon 
The dead men gave a groan. 



330 



LXXVI. 

They groaned, they stirred, they all uprose, 
Nor spake, nor moved their eyes ; 

It had been strange, even in a dream, 
To have seen those dead men rise. 

LXXIII. Sedge. The figure isfainl to us, since the word Is strange. 
Recall 1 1:- sound of the wind in rashes, tall grass, or corn. 

LXXIV. Pause till you see the picture definitely. 

LXXV. Suppose the wind had reached the Bhip— would the story 
have been so effect h 

LXXVI. /A"/. Whatmood? How used ? Tohavemen. Should 
not this be, properly, u to see " P 



30 



TEE ANCIENT MARINER 



LXXVII. 

The helmsman steered, the ship moved on ; 335 

Yet never a breeze up-blew ; 
The mariners all 'gan work the ropes, 

Where they were wont to do : 
They raised their limbs like lifeless tools — 

We were a ghastly crew. 340 

LXXVIII. 

The body of my brother's son 

Stood by me, knee to knee : 
The body and I pulled at one rope, 

But he said naught to me." 



But not by 
the souls of 
the men, nor 
by demons of 
earth or mid- 
dle air, but by 
a blessed troop 
ot angelic 
spirits, sent 
down by the 
invocation of 
the guardian 
saint. 



LXXIX. 

" I fear thee, ancient Mariner ! " 345 

" Be calm, thou Wedding-Guest ! 
'Twas not those souls that fled in pain, 
Which to their corses came again, 
But a troop of spirits blest : 

LXXX. 

For when it dawned — they dropped their 

arms, 350 

And clustered round the mast ; 
Sweet sounds rose slowly through their mouths, 

And from their bodies passed. 



LXXVIII. The body . . . he. Incongruous. But can you change 
he to it ? 
LXXIX. What previous stanza does this recall ? 

LXXX. What, in the description, hints that not the bodies, but the 
spirits, sing ? 



TEE ANCIENT MARINER 31 

LXXXI. 

Around, around, flew each sweet sound, 

Then darted to the Sun ; 355 

Slowly the sounds came back again, 
Now mixed, now one by one. 

lxxxh. 

Sometimes a-dropping from the sky 

I heard the sky-lark sing ; 
Sometimes all little birds that are, 360 

How they seemed to fill the sea and air 

With their sweet jargoning ! 

LXXXIII. 

And now 'twas like all instruments, 

Now like a lonely flute ; 
And now it is an angePs song, 365 

That makes the heavens be mute. 

LXXXIV. 

It ceased ; yet still the sails made on 

A pleasant noise till noon, 
A noise like of a hidden brook 

In the leafy month of June, 370 

That to the sleeping woods all night 

Singeth a quiet tunc. 

LXXXTI. A-dropping. A is the old "on," — in the art of drop- 
ping. Compare '* a-flshing." Sky-lark, An American bird 7 Read 
Wordsworth's Ode to a Skylark, and Shelley's. Which do you pre- 
fer ? Jargoning. The confused sound of a flock of birds. 

LXXXIII. Note the music in this and the following Btanzas, Ob- 
serve tin- alliteration in like, lonely, makes, mute, noise, noon, sleep- 
ing, singeth. Would yon use "be" in this way in pro 

LXXXIV. Why in June rather than in December? Whyal night, 
in sleeping woods ? How does all this detail help ? Like of, Explain. 



32 



TEE ANCIENT MARINER 



LXXXV. 

Till noon we quietly sailed on, 
Yet never a breeze did breathe : 

Slowly and smoothly went the ship, 
Moved onward from beneath. 



37^ 



The lonesome 
Spirit from the 
south-pole 
carries on the 
ship as far as 
the Line, in 
obedience to 
the angelic 
troop, but 
still requireth 
vengeance. 



LXXXVI. 

Under the keel nine fathom deep, 
From the land of mist and snow, 

The Spirit slid : and it was he 
That made the ship to go. 

The sails at noon left off their tune 
And the ship stood still also. 



380 



LXXXVII. 

The Sun, right up above the mast, 

Had fixed her to the ocean : 
But in a minute she 'gan stir, 

With a short uneasy motion- 
Backwards and forwards half her length 

With a short uneasy motion. 



385 



LXXXV. Note the alliteration. 

f T, LX w^ VI ;u Repeated ' in part ' from wlmt stanz a ? Slid. Why is 
this better than went, followed, or some such word ? Here there s 
an inconsistency. The gloss to stanza XXV. says : « The ship sai s 
northward, even till it reaches the Line." Here the Spirit Lries 

vLtV* a ?, S the Llne - H ° W Can he ' if ifc be <H"ady there 
Either the poet forgot the former stanza, or felt that poetic *eoV 
raphy may take licenses. P geog " 

m ™ m ^^ peCUliarit y of the sta ^a suggests the uneasy 



THE ANCIENT MARINER 



33 



LXXXVIII. 

Then like a pawing horse let go, 
She made a sudden bound ; 

It flung the blood into my head, 
And I fell down in a swound. 



390 



LXXXIX. 

How long in that same fit I lay, 

I have not to declare ; 
But ere my living life returned, 
I heard and in my soul discerned 

Two voices in the air. 



395 



The Polar 
Spirit's fel- 
low-demons, 
the invisible 
inhabitants of 
the element, 
take part in 
his wrong • 
and two or 
them relate, 
one to the 
other, thut 
penance long 
and heavy for 
the ancient 
Mariner hath 
been accorded 
to the Polar 

Spirit, who 

returncth 

southward. 



xc. 

' Is it he ?' quoth one, ' Is this the man ? 
By him who died on cross, 
With his cruel bow he laid full low, 400 

The harmless Albatross. 



XCL 

The spirit who bideth by himself 

In the land of mist and snow, 
He loved the bird that loved the man 

Who shot him with his bow/ 405 



LXXXVIII. Swound. Met once befoiv. Where? 

LXXXIX. Have not to. Cannot. Living life Is living super- 
fluous ? Is there, in tin's poem, life not living ? Discerned. Spirit 
voices are perceptible to the spirit aa well as to ear- of fl 

XCI. Note the musicul reiteration of loved. 



34 THE ANCIENT MARINER 

XCII. 

The other was a softer voice, 

As soft as honey-dew : 
Quoth he, ' The man hath penance done, 

And penance more will do/ 



XCII. Honey-dew. Just what is honey-dew ? See dictionary. 
Did the poet care just what it meant, in this case, or did he choose 
the words honey and dew for their suggestion of dropping sweetness ? 
Will do. Observe that it is not shall do. The speaker merely knows 
of the punishment. A higher power inflicts it. 



PART THE SIXTH. 



XCIII. 



FIRST VOICE. 



' But tell me, tell me ! speak again, 410 

Thy soft response renewing — 
What makes that ship drive on so fast ? 
What is the Ocean doing ? ' 



XCIV. 

SECOND VOICE. 

' Still as a slave before his lord, 

The Ocean hath no blast. 415 

His great bright eye most silently 
Up to the Moon is cast — 



XCIV. Still, etc. Coleridge borrows from his own play Osorio 

44 O woman, 
I have stood silent as a slave before thee." 

Great eye. Here he perhaps recalls a stanza by Sir John Davio : 

44 For lo the Sen that fleets about tin- land, 
And like a f^ i r< 1 1 1 : clips her solid waist. 
Music and measure both doth understand ; 
For his. greftt crystal e\e is ever I 
Up to the Moon and on tier tlxed Hist." 

—Orchestra, </ Fotme qf ZHnmdmg. 

Compare Keats : 

44 O Moon, far-flpoomlng Ocean bows to thee."— Kmhjiu: 



36 



THE ANCIENT MARINER 



xcv. 

If he may know which way to go ; 

For she guides him smooth or grim. 
See, brother, see ! how graciously 

She looketh down on him/ 



420 



XCVI. 



The Mariner 
hath been cast 
into a trance ; 
for the angelic 
power causeth 
the vessel to 
drive north- 
ward faster 
than human 
life could 
endure. 



FIRST VOICE. 

1 But why drives on that ship so fast, 
Without or wave or wind ?' 

SECOND VOICE. 

' The air is cut away before, 
And closes from behind. 



425 



The supernat- 
ural motion is 
retarded ; the 
Mariner 
awakes, and 
his penance 
begins anew. 



XCVII. 

Fly, brother, fly ! more high, more high ! 

Or we shall be belated : 
For slow and slow that ship will go, 

When the Mariner's trance is abated.' 

XCVIII. 

I woke, and we were sailing on 430 

As in a gentle weather : 
'Twas night, calm night, the Moon was high ; 

The dead men stood together. 



XCVI. Or. What would this be in prose ? 

XCVII. Slow and slow. How different in effect from "slower 
and slower " ? Abated. Not ordinarily applied to so passive a 
state. 

XCVIII. A weather. Why a ? 



TEE ANCIENT MARINER 3? 

XCIX. 

All stood together on the deck, 

For a charnel-dungeon fitter : 435 

All fixed on me their stony eyes 

That in the Moon did glitter. 



C. 

The pang, the curse, with which they died, 

Had never passed away : 
I could not draw my eyes from theirs, 440 

Nor turn them up to pray. 



CI. 

nnaii CU ex l 8 ^ nd now ^ a s P e ^ was snapt : once more 
ated. I viewed the ocean green, 

And looked far forth, yet little saw 

Of what had else been seen — 445 



OIL 

Like one that on a lonesome road 

Doth walk in fear and dread, 
And having once turned round, walks on, 

And turns no more his head ; 
Because he knows a frightful fiend 150 

Doth close behind him tread. 

XCIX. Cliai'inl-d a in/con. Sec dictionary. 

CI. Green, [s the ocean actually green by moonlight I 



3S THE ANCIENT MARINER 

CIIL 

But soon there breathed a wind on me, 

Nor sound nor motion made : 
Its path was not upon the sea, 

In ripple or in shade. 455 

CIV. 

It raised my hair, it fanned my cheek 
Like a meadow-gale of spring — 

It mingled strangely with my fears, 
Yet it felt like a welcoming. 

CV. 

Swiftly, swiftly flew the ship, 460 

Yet she sailed softly too : 
Sweetly, sweetly blew the breeze — 

On me alone it blew. 

CVI. 

And the an- Oh ! dream of joy ! is this indeed 

behoidethhls The light-house top I see ? 465 

country. Is this the hill ? is this the kirk ? 

Is this mine own countree ? 

CIII. Visible either by a ripple or by a belt of darker water. But is 
breeze on moonlit water dark ? 

CIV. Gale. In what sense? Welcoming. " Welcoming'." Note 
the secondary stress, thrown by the metre on the last syllable. It is 
not so strong as the primary. Cf. mariner, stanza I. 
CV. Note parallel form of lines 1 and 3. 

CVI. The landmarks reappear in reversed order. They come 
without warning. Observe the miraculous swiftness of the journey. 
In what gloss is comment made on it ? Countree. A ballad form. 
Compare the ballad of Thomas the Rhymer : 

" And they waded through blude aboon the knee, 
For a' the blude that's shed on earth 
Ring through the springs o' that countrie." 
" Own country " and " ain country " are common in verse. 



THE ANCIENT MARINER 39 

CVIL 

We drifted o'er the harbour-bar, 
And I with sobs did pray — 
s let me be awake, my God ! 470 

Or let me sleep alway/ 

CVIII. 

The harbour-bay was clear as glass, 

So smoothly it was strewn ! 
And on the bay the moonlight lay, 

And the shadow of the Moon. 475 

CIX. 

The rock shone bright, the kirk no less, 

That stands above the rock : 
The moonlight steeped in silentness 

The steady weathercock. 

CX. 

And the bay was white with silent light, 480 
Till rising from the same, 
The angelic Full many shapes, that shadows were, 

spirits leave T 

the dead In crimson colours came. 



bodies, 



CVIL let, etc. " Let this prove real. If it be dream, let me 
dream forever." 

CVIII. Strewn. Spread evenly with level light. Observe how 
melodiously the sound of moon is anticipated in moonlight. Shadow, 

Reflected im, 
CIX. What does steady imply here? Observe the alliteration : 

stands, steeped, steady. 

CX. His back ifl turned to the deck. B( m - the reflected In 

first. 



40 THE ANCIENT MARINER 



CXI. 

And appear A little distance from the prow 

in their own -in a or 

forms of light. Those crimson shadows were : 4oo 

I turned my eyes upon the deck — 
Oh, Christ ! what saw I there ! 

CXII. 

Each corse lay flat, lifeless and flat, 

And, by the holy rood ! 
A man all light, a seraph-man, 490 

On every corse there stood. 

CXIII. 

This seraph-band, each waved hfs hand : 

It was a heavenly sight ! 
They stood as signals to the land, 

Each one a lovely light : 495 

CXIV. 

This seraph-band, each waved his hand, 

No voice did they impart — 
No voice ; but oh ! the silence sank 

Like music on my heart. 

CXII. Rood. Cross. Compare the term rood-screen, used of the 
cross-bearing screen in many Anglican and Catholic churches. 
Seraph-man. Compare Milton's 

"The helmed cherubim, 
And sworded seraphim, 
Are seen in glittering ranks with wings, displayed. 1 ' 

—Hymn on the Nativity. 

CXIII. Signals. Vessels at night summon a pilot by a flare, a 
flame blazing from the deck, lighting spars and sails. Perhaps such 
a sight suggested to Coleridge this picture. 

CXIV. Impart. An odd use of the word. 



THE ANCIENT MARINER 41 

cxv. 

But soon I heard the dash of oars, 500 

I heard the Pilot's cheer ; 
My head was turned perforce away, 

And I saw a boat appear. 

CXVI. 

The Pilot, and the Pilot's boy, 

I heard them coming fast : 505 

Dear Lord in Heaven ! it was a joy 

The dead men could not blast. 



CXVII. 

I saw a third — I heard his voice : 

It is the Hermit good ! 
He singeth loud his godly hymns 510 

That he makes in the wood. 
He'll shrieve my soul, hell wash away 

The Albatross's blood. 

CXV. Cheer. In what sense ? 

CXVI. A joy the dead, etc. Insert that. A joy (hut the presence 
of the dead could not overcome. 

CXVII. Why is the Hermit introduced ? Shrieve. See dic- 
tionary. 



PART THE SEVENTH. 



CXVIII. 

» 

The Hermit of This Hermit good lives in that wood 

the wood which glopeg d()wn tQ the gea . 515 

How loudly his sweet voice he rears ! 
He loves to talk with marineres 
That come from a far countree. 



CXIX. 

He kneels at morn, and noon, and eve — 

He hath a cushion plump : 520 

It is the moss that wholly hides 
The rotted old oak-stump. 



cxx. 

The skiff-boat neared : I heard them talk, 

'Why this is strange, I trow ! 
Where are those lights so many and fair, 525 
That signal made but now ? ' 

CXVIII. Why seven parts ? See note on XIX. 

CXIX. How does this help the story ? Would a priest from the 
town have done as well ? 

CXX. Skiff-boat. With us, the first part of the word would be 
enough. Trow. See dictionary. 



THE ANCIENT MARINER ^ 

CXXI. 

theX p C w?th 'Strange, by my faith V the Hermit said— 
'And they answered not our cheer ! 
The planks look warped ! and see those sails 

How thin they are and sere ! 5 30 

I never saw aught like to them, 
Unless perchance it were 

CXXII. 

Brown skeletons of leaves that lag 

My forest-brook along ; 
When the ivy-tod is heavy with snow, 535 

And the owlet whoops to the wolf below 

That eats the she- wolf s young." 

CXXIII. 

'Dear Lord ! it hath a fiendish look'— 

(The Pilot made reply) 
'lam a-feared — 'Push on, push on!' 540 

Said the Hermit cheerily. 

CXX1V. 

The boat came closer fco the ship, 

But I nor spake nor stirred ; 
The boat came close beneath the ship. 

And straight a sound was heard. 645 

('XXI. [ssersand were a perfect rhyme? Note how the construc- 
tion of the stanza runs over to the next. 

CXXH Tod. Bush. The description seems a little dispropor- 

tionate. Does ii add to our idea of leaves, or oJ 
CXXIII. A-feared. Cf. "a-thirst," "an-hungered.' 
CXXIV. and CXXV. Note the approach of the sound, Would a 

radden burst, a thunder.Jit, have been so effective? Hoi do - the 

sinking of the Bhip aid the plan of the storj ? 



44 



THE ANCIENT MARINER 



The ship sud- 
denly Binketh. 



oxxv. 

Under the water it rumbled on, 
Still louder and more dread : 

It reached the ship, it split the bay ; 
The ship went down like lead. 



The ancient 
Mariner is 
saved in the 
Pilot's boat. 



CXXVI. 

Stunned by that loud and dreadful sound, 550 

Which sky and ocean smote, 
Like one that hath been seven days drowned 

My body lay afloat ; 
But swift as dreams, myself I found 

Within the Pilot's boat. 555 



CXXVII. 

Upon the whirl, where sank the ship, 
The boat spun round and round : 

And all was still, save that the hill 
Was telling of the sound. 



CXXVIII. 

I moved my lips — the Pilot shrieked 560 

And fell down in a fit ; 
The Holy Hermit raised his eyes 

And prayed where he did sit. 

CXXVI. Seven. See note to XIX. As dreams. See note to III. 

CXXVII. Note how the splitting of the bay and the dreadful 
sound are reinforced by the mention of the whirl and the echo. Were 
these omitted, the scene would lose much. 

CXXVIII. Why is the moving of his lips worse to them than his 
silence ? 



THE ANGIEJST MARINER 



45 



CXXIX. 

I took the oars : the Pilot's boy, 

Who now doth crazy go, 
Laughed loud and long, and all the while 
His eyes went to and fro. 
' Ha ! ha ! ' quoth he, ' full plain I see, 
The Devil knows how to row. 5 



565 



cxxx. 

And now, all in my own countree, 

I stood on the firm land ! 
The Hermit stepped forth from the boat, 

And scarcely he could stand. 



570 



The ancient 
Mariner 
earnestly en- 
treateth the 
Hermit to 
shrieve him ; 
and the pen- 
ance of fife 
falls on him. 



CXXXI. 

' shrieve me, shrieve me, holy man V 

The Hermit crossed his brow. 575 

' Say quick/ quoth he, ' I bid thee say — 
What manner of man art thou ? ' 



CXXXII. 

Forthwith this frame of mine was wrenched 

With a woful agony, 
Which forced me to begin my tale; 580 

And then it left me fr< 



CXXIX. Doth go. " Go crazy " is common. Here"go n ifl need 
a little more near); in the Bense <>f " be." If line two were omitted, 
line four would Buggesl his madi 

CXXXI. Note the Biblical eifeol oi the last line. To what wotdi 

is it duo ? 



46 



TEE ANCIENT MARINER 



And ever and 
anon through- 
out his future 
life an agony 
constraint h 
him to travel 
from land to 
land. 



CXXXIII. 

Since then, at an uncertain hour, 

That agony returns ; 
And till my ghastly tale is told, 

This heart within me burns. 



585 



CXXXIV. 

I pass, like night, from land to land ; 

I have strange power of speech ; 
That moment that his face I see, 
I know the man that must hear me : 

To him my tale I teach. 



590 



cxxxv. 

What loud uproar bursts from that door ! 

The wedding-guests are there : 
But in the garden-bower the bride 

And bride-maids singing are ; 
And hark the little vesper bell, 

Which biddeth me to prayer ! 



595 



CXXXIII. Some editions, for an agony, in the gloss, read and 
agony. 

CXXXIV. What great traditional ''wanderer" of romance does 
this suggest ? Teach. Used in what sense ? That moment Some 
editions read the. 

CXXXV. Observe the transition from the uproar to the little ves- 
per bell. After this the whole tone of the poem changes. This 
stanza is what, in music, would be called a modulating passage, 
changing key and subject. 



THE ANCIENT MARINER 



47 



CXXXVI. 

Wedding-Guest ! this soul hath been 

Alone on a wide, wide sea : 
So lonely 'twas, that God himself 

Scarce seemed there to be. 



600 



CXXXVII. 

sweeter than the marriage-feast, 

"lis sweeter far to me, 
To walk together to the kirk 

With a goodly company ! — 



CXXXVIII. 

To walk together to the kirk, 

And all together pray, 
While each to his great Father bends, 
Old men, and babes, and loving friends, 

And youths and maidens gay ! 



605 



And to teach, 
by his own 
example, 
love and 
reverence to 
all things thp.'. 
God made and 
loveth. 



OXXXIX. 

Farewell, farewell ! but this I tell 
To thee, thou Wedding-Guest 1 

He prayeth well, who loveth well 
Both man and bird and beast. 



610 



CXXXVI. and CXXXVII. [ntroduced by CXXXV. Why does he 
prefer the l<ii - i< ? What reason does the preceding stun; s! ? 

CXXXVIII Gay. Eappy, or brightly dressed. 1' il modifj 
youths and maidens, or only maiden* t 

CXXXIX. and CXL. Note the repetition. Note also the progres- 
sion from well to beet. Observe hon the verse ling i 



48 THE ANCIENT MARINER 



CXL. 



He prayetli best, who loveth best 

All things both great and small ; 615 

For the dear God who loveth us, 

He made and loveth all." 



CXLL 

The Mariner, whose eye is bright, 

Whose beard with age is hoar, 
Is gone : and now the Wedding-Guest 620 

Turned from the bridegroom's door, 

CXLII. 

He went like one that hath been stunned, 

And is of sense forlorn : 
A sadder and a wiser man, 

He rose the morrow morn. 625 



CXL. All things both great and small. Is there a suggestion of 
Psalms civ., 25 ? Compare the last stanza of Wordsworth's Hart- 
leap Well: 

" One lesson, shepherd, let us two divide, 

Taught both by what she shows and what conceals, 
Never to blend our pleasure or our pride 
With sorrow of the meanest thing that feels." 

Read that poem. Compare its lesson with that of this poem. Which 
has the more positive, the more far-reaching moral ? 

CXLI. Why did the Wedding-Guest turn away ? 

CXLII. What does sense mean here ? What two meanings has the 
word ? Forlorn. Abandoned. Why was the Wedding-Guest ' ' sad- 
der and wiser " ? 



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WAD; 

'•STRICT 
o ' ' u > Canter 
Rexburg, Idaho 83440